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Funny People (2009)

January 4, 2010

6/10 Endless Dick Jokes

Considering the title, I thought it’d be funnier. Still has it’s moments though.

Funny People is about a big time comedian/womanizer/overall Debbie Downer named George Simmons whose life gets turned upside-down when he finds out he has cancer. Not really sure what to do with his remaining days, he tries to win back the one girl he ever loved, goes back to his standup roots, realizes he’s not funny any more, and starts paying an up-and-comer to be his personal servant and write jokes for him. Everybody grows, you know the drill.

Up until now, Judd Apatow has had a pretty phenomenal track record. Freaks and Geeks should never have been cancelled, same thing goes for Undeclared, The 40 Year-Old Virgin was a launching pad for everyone involved, and Knocked Up seemed to be a culmination of everything prior. So yeah, they’re all great. Unfortunately, can’t say that this one falls into the same category as it’s easily his weakest effort.

I guess the first reason this movie didn’t really do it for me was because only about half of the jokes actually land like they’re supposed to. A lot of this probably has to do with every other gag being about how old people’s balls look or the many wacky things one can do with their penis. Usually I’m all for a good joke about old balls, but I’m not kidding, it seems like Judd was trying to have a contest with himself or something. It’s a little much and there is no way ordinary guys talk this much about their junk.

But since this is a 50/50 situation we’re dealing with, when this movie is funny, it is damn funny. Some of it is the standup routines, some of it is actually due to some freakin’ hilarious scenes featuring Aziz Ansari (one of the funniest comedians out there today), and there’s also a heated exchange between Eminem and Ray Romano of all people that cracked me up right good. Luckily, that stuff had me howling. And when the hell is someone going to give Ansari a leading role already? Get with the program you Hollywood fatcats.

It’s also funny to watch Adam Sandler make fun of his movie career and how far it’s fallen from the Happy Gilmore tree, the only problem is that his alter-ego George Simmons sucks. I don’t know if it was just me or whether it had something to do with me being hungover at the time I watched this, but the guy’s a dick and there’s not a whole lot of development on his part when it comes to him not being a dick. Just didn’t care about him from beginning to end and definitely wouldn’t want to spend another two-and-a-half hours with that walking, talking buzzkill of a guy.

And that’s right, it’s two-and-a-half hours far too long.

Seth Rogen is also okay as George’s protege’ and only friend, but he can do better (dude’s lost some serious weight though, he’s lookin’ tip-top). Jonah Hill and a number of other Apatow regulars are also here, but again, not reaching their fullest potential.

Although Eric Bana is pretty amusing as George’s ex’s husband. Even though Bana’s done nothing but crap since he’s come stateside, I still like the guy and I’ll happily shout him out here. Check him out in Chopper, you’ll be on the Bana bandwagon, too.

But all in all, Funny People‘s not a bad movie. There’s some solid cameos by everyone who’s ever been in any movie ever, 
it’s got some heart, it just doesn’t know how to get it all out with its atypically weak script. The big problem is that I wish it made me care more about the characters, their stories and putting me in George’s shoes so that I could relate somewhat to his “miserable” life, but then again, it is funny. It’s the least funniest thing Apatow’s done, but semi-funny by Apatow is still a hell of a lot better than a lot of what’s already out there. Worth a look, but no big whoop.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. January 4, 2010 8:26 am

    It was Apatow’s more serious film, and with a 2 and a half hour time limit I was expecting some thing else other than just these endless dick jokes, and horrible subplot with Leslie Mann and Sandler.

  2. January 4, 2010 12:00 pm

    The endless string of dick and balls jokes got tiring to me. I admire that Apatow did not take the easy way out by turning George into a good guy after he “recovered” but yes, at the end of the day, the movie was a bit lackluster.

  3. Branden permalink
    January 4, 2010 2:22 pm

    This movie was supposed to Apatow’s “serious drama” with comedic moments in it. I did not find it engaging at all. I enjoyed bit and pieces of the movie. Those moments were few and way far between. The romantic comedy elements could have been eliminated all together.

  4. January 4, 2010 10:54 pm

    I enjoyed it, dick jokes never get old for me.

  5. January 5, 2010 1:49 am

    Ira: “Do you ever get tired of singing the same songs?”
    James Taylor: “Do you ever get tired of talking about your dick?”

    It seems like this exchange sums up the movie for you.

    • January 5, 2010 8:16 am

      haha, well played. I did like when James Taylor yelled out “Fuck Facebook!” James Taylor rocks.

  6. January 5, 2010 10:16 am

    When this movie hit theatres, Big Mike floated a theory…he wondered aloud whether if the best Apatow might not neccessarily be the ones Apatow directs.

    I loved the comedy craft side of this story, but it really lost me in the final act.

  7. July 14, 2010 2:54 pm

    It’s funny in the first act, then it goes on to become too serious, but still very very funny. Check out my review here: Nice Review!

    • July 15, 2010 8:43 am

      Yeah, it has its moments, but idk man, too many dick jokes for my taste. Maybe when I get rich and famous like whoa I’ll go back and revisit this, maybe I’ll be able to relate in some way, shape or form.

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