Friday, June 29, 2012

A Funny Person Review

Funny People
Starring: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann
Release Date: July 31st, 2009

    Adam Sandler was at one point my life the funniest person in the world. "Billy Madison" came out when I was eleven and danced the line of being a PG 13 movie and I loved every minute of it. "The Waterboy" came out when I was fourteen and what fourteen year old boy couldn't relate to being an undersized misfit who somehow manages to find the strength to take on the bullies and be the hero. Not to mention hiding copies of his popular(yet R - rated) comedy CD's or Tapes from my parents. However sometime after 1999's "Big Daddy" I began to lose interest in Mr. Sandler. I never saw "Punch Drunk Love" and while movies like "Mr. Deeds", "Eight Crazy Nights" or "50 First Dates" were enjoyable time wasters, I seemed to lose my love for the man who I would quote throughout my teenage years. In fact his movies became so cookie cutter that I stopped getting excited by seeing Adam Sandler's named being associated with a movie. The movies I did have some hope for all too often let me down. "Grown Ups" was disappointing, as it could have been something special, but not nearly to the same extent that "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry" let me down. Which explains why it took my nearly three years to see "Funny People".

    In "Funny People" Sandler plays comedian George Simmons who is a megastar in the comedy world and is essentially a parody of Sandler. George is diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia which is normally terminal but a new set of experimental drugs has been shown to work in eight percent of patients. It's George's only hope. Once diagnosed George takes to the stand-up stage to work out the emotions he's hiding behind his "always on" persona. He befriends a young and very green comedian Ira(Seth Rogan) who he hires to be his personal assistant and, in a lot of ways, his friend. George has to come to grips with his impending doom and take stock of his life. This of course leads us to "the one who got away", Laura(Leslie Mann). Will George rectify his life and give himself the happy ending that has avoided him all these years, or will he die an unhappy, unfulfilled thirty something year old man?

    Writer and Director Judd Apatow has been responsible for bringing us some of the best comedies in the last ten years and his affection for those who make us laugh is very real and can be felt from beginning to end in this movie. He gets the absolute best out of Sandler and Rogen and gives the audience more than just another comedy. This movie ventures into the "dramadey" realm and on more than one occasion I felt a tear swelling in my eye.

    "Funny People" does have it drawbacks and it is not without fault. The 146 min running time is at least fifteen minutes too long and there are moments that could have been left on the editing floor. Also, there are times when the comedy feels forced as if the movie had been too serious for too long and Apatow felt compelled to lighten the mood.

    All that being said this instantly became one of my favorite movies of all time. It has a subject matter that I can relate too and fantasize about(this would be the equivalent of me being chosen to work for Louis C.K.),  and it gave me a reason to root for one of my childhood idols again. Most importantly it moved me in a way I was not expecting and any movie that can do that deserves to be seen. 


No comments:

Post a Comment