Despite producing several of the best comedies of the last few years (including Pineapple Express, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Superbad) this is only Judd Apatow's third film behind the camera (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up). The all-star cast includes Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzman.... More
Funny People is the story of a famous comedian (Sandler) who has a near-death experience. Says Apatow: "I'm trying to make a very serious movie that is twice as funny as my other movies. Wish me luck." Hide
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BY Andrew Hedley Flicks Writer
Writer-director-producer Judd Apatow’s third film as a director aims for something a bit more substantial than your average comedy but can’t decide what exactly that should be. The film’s too juvenile to be an affecting drama but too melancholic to be a genuine rib-tickler.
It’s also half an hour too long and could have done with a good trim. At times it feels like Apatow is hijacking all the goodwill earned with his terrific previous films (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up) to make us sit through a self-indulgent vanity project (the casting of his wife and kids in main roles does nothing to convince us otherwise).
Luckily, Apatow has retained his knack for creating loveable characters. Eric Bana steals every scene he’s in, while Seth Rogen is the geek we all are inside. Adam Sandler earns himself further appreciation as a mega-successful comedian who regrets his life choices.
The film’s relaxed, shambolic pace and well-chosen soundtrack hints at the director’s assured ambitions but when the credits eventually roll Funny People has long outstayed its welcome.
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