By Jack Rico
Rated: R for language and crude sexual humor throughout, and some sexuality.
Release Date: 2009-07-31
Starring: Judd Apatow
Official Website: http://www.funnypeoplemovie.com/
‘Funny People’ does not live up to the Apatow hype. It never even gets close to what his two previous fantastic films achieved in the genre of comedy. Much of its demise is attributed to its story which is told in a choppy and uneven manner. There’s some good material here, but the movie rambles more than the human attention span can tolerate.
The premise is succint. It’s about a famous comedian (Adam Sandler) who has a near-death experience and then goes through a self exploration phase which will make him see the world in a whole different light. Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill and newcomer Aubrey Plaza, of Puerto Rican decent, also star.
I have to admit, by looking at the trailer, I thought ‘Funny People’ was going to be a critically acclaimed film worthy of an Oscar, if it was executed correctly. Regrettably, it never quenched my personal expectations. Is it all bad? Absolutely not. There are some very funny moments, but they are dispersed all over the story like broken glass. It’s refreshing to see Apatow branching out and trying something off the beaten path but, in this case, his sense of ambition may have caused him to lose his way. It’s a brave move that is partially undone by pacing problems and a lack of focus. ‘Funny People’ clocks in at nearly 2 1/2 hours, and that’s too long for any comedy.
Most of you might not know of Puerto Rican comedian Aubrey Plaza, but you will after this movie. In her short and underdeveloped role, Aubrey’s shy, witty demeanor made her on-screen presence a memorable one.
If you’re a fan of Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow’s sexually charged joke marathons, there is some of it here for you to enjoy, but overall, the film is no doubt a drama that might turn off hardcore loyalists.