Film Review: Funny People (2009)

28 Sep


Warning. * denotes a possible spoiler alert

When one of my sisters was four years old, she and her friends entered a school dance competition. Their entry, a choreographed Spice Girls song, consisted of about thirty seconds of actual dancing, then four minutes of them just walking around in a circle, filling in time. It was poorly executed, indulgent and embarrassing to all those who witnessed the fiasco.

I mention this because after leaving Funny People, I felt exactly the same way.

In this instance, Adam Sandler plays a lonely, selfish, rich comedian whose outlook on life is turned around when he is struck down by an incurable disease*. In the ensuing agonising 136 minutes of film, a substantial and largely unnecessary assortment of characters is mushed together to produce a sad excuse for a movie, which was sort of promising for the first minute or two, but rapidly descended into a rambling, directionless piece of pap.

To be fair, there were occasional glimpses of brilliance. However they were few and far between and were more often than not overshadowed by the abundance of lame pee pee and wee wee jokes that only urban cavemen seem to find funny. Eric Bana is notable for a cringeworthy appearance where he regresses back to his Full Frontal days, Judd Apatow proves nepotism is alive and well by employing both his wife and daughters, and Aubrey Plaza plays a Daria-like character that annoyed the hell out of me.

If you liked The Hangover or were dropped on your head at birth, Funny People will probably appeal to you.

2 Stars

* Seemingly incurable. This turned out to be the biggest disappointment of the whole film. Can’t you just make him die, you bastards.

Virginia Mannering

–>Sydney Morning Herald review (***1/2) {link}

–>The Guardian review (****)

“…one of the most enjoyable films of the year.”

–>Interview with creator Judd Apatow {link}

JA: For me, it’s very simple. I test the movies a lot, and if the audience says they love the movie, we know we’re on the right track. And if they tell me they hate it, I try to figure out what I’ve done wrong. But every time out, the audience wants me to go deeper, they want to know more about the characters, and they don’t want these movies to be shallow.”

–> Official Website {link}


One Response to “Film Review: Funny People (2009)”

  1. grammorris September 28, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    looks good

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