Funny People

funny_peopleFunny people is quite a misleading title for Judd Apatow’s latest offering, as this time round Apatow embarks on new emotional depths that his previous comedic ensembles did not fully investigate. This film brings a new meaning to the term dramedy as it’s a look at the sensibilities of the people in which the entertainment industry feasts upon. Apatow illustrates that in the lime light these funny people also have tragedies, depression and real-life problems just as much as any other person. This is his out of the box look at his own profession and experiences, a satire on the fragility and superficiality of show business that at the same time proves to be equally as hilarious as established heavyweights like 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, Through adapting the emotional anecdotes that were touched upon previously and exploring them with further depth resulting in the humour being that much more resonant.

Seth Rogen still plays your average stoner chuck down to a tea towel who, through his determination to be noticed in stand up, stumbles across the cancer-diagnosed depressed fictional film star George Simmons, played by house hold favourite Adam Sandler, who out of some misguided sense of redemption takes Rogen s character Ira Schmira under his comedic wing to help make sense of his fate or lonely isolation. The notion of a mentor becomes a clear motivation to his circumstances as the relationship between Ira and George takes its twists and turns and allows Apatow a suitable platform for comedic flurries, while offering the audience an insight and critique of the business in question. Rogen adds a new found sense of compassion and consciousness to his character which proves that much more convincing and compelling to engage with. Now with Rogen’s impressive back catalogue (reading as a list of the best comedy films of the past four years), he is rapidly becoming simultaneously the most mature and most juvenile comedic actor in contemporary American comedy. Adam Sandler breaks further away from his type cast role of Happy Gilmore and Water boy to show us that he is now a veteran comedic method actor, which we first saw with Punch Drunk Love and Reign Over Me. Funny People almost feels like a Sandler biopic, except from the whole cancer thang but the film never really allows itself to get too serious, managing to turn it around and be able to laugh at itself, which is in essence the message of the film if there is one.

There is an especially funny scene when Eminem insults Everybody Loves Raymond s Ray Romano, and when Sandler’s love interest, convincingly played by Leslie Mann, mocks her Auzzie hubby Eric Bana in an especially ad-libbed scene of hilarity. As the film is littered with comedic gems eager to contribute to the Apatow saga that is dominating Hollywood right now, and appropriately Superbad’s Jonah Hill and I Heart Huckabees Jason Schwartzman serve up two well placed co-lead parts as Rogen’s adolescently competitive roommates. The film loses its fluency a tad towards the end when the final moral chapter that takes place at Laura s adulterous family residence , prolongs and adds a notion of uneasiness to the script, but we are ultimately rewarded with a quirky fight between Bana, Sandler and Rogen. The soundtrack perfectly caters for each divergent chapter, which is only strengthened by an entourage of strong comedic performances from unknowns such as Aubrey Plaza and Observe and Report s idiosyncratic Aziz Ansari, proving how Apatow is now the Spielberg of Comedy, choosing to work with and cast who as he pleases and advocating and subsequently propelling any project that takes his fancy.

Nutshell:
Judd Apatow has now solidified himself as the comedic king of Hollywood; each new feature offers a fresh sense of comedic banter and satirical meandering while instilling an ability to create the right ingredients that makes his films funny, from the events and people that command the story to be compelling. Seth Rogen and his co stars once again provide a humility balanced with an adolescent charm that results in a supremely mature but yet infantile slice of dramedy.

Funny People Trailer

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