August 3, 2009

Funny People - 2009

Director: Judd Apatow
Writer: Judd Apatow
Starring: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman

In Apatow's third film, Sandler plays a renowned comedian diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Hilarious already, isn't it? After a series of horrible yet financially successful films (much like Sandler's real-life career), he decides to get back to his roots and begins performing standup again. Rogen is your average Joe, working at the deli counter at a grocery store while moonlighting as a standup comic. Hill and Schwartzman are his roommates, Hill a more successful standup comic and Schwartzman the jerk star of an awful TV show (but the only truly financially successful of the three). Rogen runs into Sandler at a performance, and Sandler ends up hiring him to be his assistant, which includes writing jokes for him. There's a subplot involving Leslie Mann and Eric Bana (Sandler's ex-fianceé and her new husband), as well as their two children, but it ends up being a little excessive, and the film's 2 hour 20 minute runtime would have benefited from its excision.

Some other things:
  • Seeing Adam Sandler's face on a baby body will haunt me for the rest of my days.
  • LOTS of cameos, if that's your thing: James Taylor, Tom (from MySpace), Andy Dick, Norm MacDonald, Dave Attell, Sarah Silverman, Eminem, Ray Romano, and a couple others I didn't recognize
  • Two great jokes that no one got: one about Jon Favreau and the other about Daniel Day-Lewis. Maybe the latter's too cerebral for the Apatow crowd, but Favreau was in a trailer preceding the film.
  • I really like those pseudo-fedoras that Sandler's character wears in the movie.
  • "You sure know a lot about Delaware. Who are you, fucking Joe Biden?"
  • There's either a loving homage or blatant rip-off of the "'Memories' from Cats" joke from Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl
  • I thought Leslie Mann hadn't really done anything since George of the Jungle. Apparently, not only is she married to Apatow, but she's been in all his films (as well as six other films post-George). Who knew?
Overall, a pretty good movie. Adam Sandler does a great job of a guy pretending to be funny, but ultimately being depressed/depressing. Judd Apatow has made the bridge between his early, dick-joked-filled work, and possible mature, cinematic future projects. This one's a little of both, and it'll be interesting to see where things go from here.

1 comment:

  1. haha, kudos on the Joe Biden line. Also, next time we hang out, let me show you how to resize images for your blog :D