Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Review: Funny People

After the less-than-stellar Zohan, I was really hoping to see Adam Sandler return with a performance more akin to Punch Drunk Love or even Spanglish. With age, the man has proven he can be a pretty dang good serious actor.

Falling somewhere in the middle of his extremes, Sandler’s character George Simmons in Funny People is an actor who, like Sandler himself, has made a living off his crazy comedies and oddball characters. When Simmons discovers he has a deadly disease, however, quite a bit of drama takes center stage.

Funny People is a dark project from writer/director Judd Apatow that pulls off a nice mix of heart-crushingly somber moments with absolutely hilarious dialogue and characters. Seth Rogen co-stars as Simmons’ personal assistant and comedic pet project and, no surprise, the dude is 100 percent dynamite. Support from Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman and Aubrey Plaza (and a slew of great cameos) help round out the hilarious cast in what is possibly the most appropriately named movies of all time.

You see…because they are funny people…and the movie is called…moving on.

My only real gripe with the film was that it felt about a half hour too long. Like with The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Apatow has yet to learn sometimes less is more. By the final quarter of the film, things feel like they’re dragging and a few decent edits here and there throughout would have made for a more concise package.

Other than that, the man is still batting a thousand. Funny People is just as funny as his previous films despite the subject matter and the dramatic moments are as well delivered and put together as any movie belonging solely to that genre.
It’s a little unbalanced, but damn if I didn’t enjoy it.

No comments: