Funny People is comedy's golden child's, Judd Apatow, third feature film writing and directing. It stars everyone that has been in his previous movies plus Adam Sandler and Jason Schwartzman. That makes it so new and exciting right? Well, I'm going to say no although I appreciated the idea of changing it up.
Adam Sandler plays George Simmons, a comedian who has had a similar path to Adam. He was funny then, made really bad movies, and is now washed up. He finds out he is dying so in a last stitched effort he takes on Ira, (Seth Rogen) a young comedian, to write jokes for him as he does what will be his last tour. Simmons learns a lot about life and he makes amends with all the people in his life.
Then he gets better. With a new lease on life he begins to pursue the only girl he has every really loved, Laura (Leslie Mann). She has all kinds of mixed feelings and guilt that makes her throw her self at George. She tries to justify it by saying her husband is just like George even the cheating aspect, so why not get back with George. Then when it comes time to tell her husband she chickens out. Out of rage George takes it out on Ira by firing him. The film ends with Ira and George writing jokes over coffee. Apatow should not do open endings.
I do feel like that acting is really good. Sandler and even Rogen steps it up for a much darker film. My problem is that it wasn't really a Judd Apatow movie. The dick jokes are all there and brace yourself there are a lot of them. I just feel like Rogen has out grown the underdog roll or I have grown tired of him acting like an idiot. Sandler and Manns relationship is really great in the beginning but takes a weird turn. Mann gets back with her husband. This is a plot device known as the false ending. If the false ending is sad the real ending is happy.
The false ending is sad but also really forced. I know people will argue it is part of Mann's character to feel scared and too afraid to make any giant changes to her life. I just feel like this break up could have been less cliche and more Apatow. Through out the film I didn't laugh and that's bad when it's made by these people. I was waiting for the big moment. The Steve Carrell getting waxed or the crazy trip to Vegas with Paul Rudd and Rogen. It lacked big laughs for the sake of overplayed melodrama. That's why it opened to the lowest opening by an Adam Sandler movie. It was lower than Spanglish people.
Bottom line this is a rental, a cheap theater viewing, or wait for network TV to show it.