Funny People (FP) is both amusing and touching at the same time. FP isn’t Judd Apatow best or funniest movie, but it certainly is his most personal film to date. It feels like a faithful nod to the stand-up clubs scenes of today. With a few glaring story structural flaws, the movie still manages to be better written than most of the family seasonal comedies that have come out recently. If you give this movie a chance, it will be rewarding to most.
The story focuses in on two comedians at opposite ends of the comedy scene. Adam Sandler plays George Simmons. Simmons is just another version of Sandler. He makes major motion pictures that aren’t exactly that good, but are popular and family friendly. His is a mixture between Eddie Murphy and Sandler. So, Sandler is playing himself here. The other character is Seth Rogen, and he plays the up-in-coming Ira Wright. Here, he is just playing himself as well. These two comedians find common ground and Ira ends up working for Simmons. This is because Simmons discovers that he has a life-threatening disease.
The stand-up portions of the film are some of the best scenes as are the Rogen and his roommates scenes. This is probably Sandler’s best acting job since Spanglish. Sandler’s character is a bit of an asshole, and especially the way he treats Rogen’s character. His character is a bit mean-spirited during the third act.
And, the movie partly jumps off the rails in the third act. Sandler ends up falling back in love with Leslie Mann. But her character is already married and has two children. This is where the film becomes very awkward and it makes George Simmons look like a total a-hole. While I liked that the movie does play around with the romantic conventions a bit, the third act of the movie is at its weakest here.
However, the movie as a whole is very rewarding to me. I am currently going through something very similar with a family member that is currently going through treatment, and I can now understand what both Rogen and Sandler’s characters are going through. With an unstable third act, the movie is still a better film than Knocked Up.
I hate to say this, but Jonah Hill is getting pretty big. It is very noticeable in this movie.