David’s Review of Funny People

10 Aug

I liked the movie Funny People.  That’s what it comes down to.  I liked it.  I would recommend it to friends.  And when I did, I would say, “Yeah.  I liked that movie.”  Now, there are other movies, and I’m specifically thinking of the other two movies that Judd Apatow has made, that when I recommend I use the word “love” instead of “like”.

I feel weird writing down what I think about Funny People, because I’m not quite sure what I think about it.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  There were parts of it that I laughed out loud at.  There were parts that made me genuinely sad.  And yet, there was still something lacking.  And that’s what makes this hard to write.  I’m not quite sure what that something is.  I can’t quite put my finger on it.

I have my suspicions.  Just like my esteemed colleague, I never fell in love with George Simmons.  Nor did I ever actually hate him.  Which is strange because I think the performance Adam Sandler gave us is one of his best.  He was great.  But his character wasn’t.  I like to either love the character or hate him.  And I felt neither of those emotions for George Simmons.  And maybe that was the intention.  It’s definitely more realistic.  The way I felt toward George Simmons is probably the way I feel toward most people I know.  In which case, it might be silly to complain, because I’m basically complaining that the movie isn’t hyper realistic, which is a very stupid thing to say about a movie.

I think really my biggest problem with the movie is that Seth Rogen’s Ira Wright was not the main character.  I genuinely liked him.  And the parts of the movie that made me sad were not the scenes about the tragedy in Adam Sandler’s life, but the scenes where Seth Rogen was injured by people he thought were his friends.  I did love the character of Ira Wright.  I cared about him.  I wanted him to be the main character.

After the movie was over my wife and I decided that it almost seemed like the movie was a symbolic way for the last generation of comedians to hand the torch to the next generation.  Not that they are over and done with, but as if they were saying, “we’ve seen what you guys can do, and we approve of it.”  If that is the way to view the movie, then the upped load of drama makes sense.  The passing of torches is always an emotional thing.  The dozens of comedians making cameos also makes sense.  However, I think that just makes it weirder that I didn’t have an emotional attachment to the main character, and that I had such a strong one for the back-up character.

But I don’t want to get bogged down by thinking what might have been.  I did like the movie.  I laughed and I felt the dramatic tension, which is what dramedies are supposed to make you feel, I think.  Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, and Leslie Mann all gave me performances that I loved, just like they always do.  The early home movies of Adam Sandler thrown in were absolutely genius.  Seth Rogen’s awkward attempt at romance was heartwarming.  Everything that involved Jason Schwartzman’s TV Show “Yo Teach” was wonderful.  Pure hilariousness.  And the RZA.  Everything is better with a member of Wu-Tang Clan.

So despite the first half of this review, I am telling you that you should see this movie.  In fact, I think it would be a mistake to not see it.  I would recommend the movie to my friends.  I liked it.

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3 Responses to “David’s Review of Funny People”

  1. Josh Deschenes August 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm #

    David. Love the blog. The movie though, simple a modern day Great Gatsby rip off.

  2. iamhrothgar August 11, 2009 at 12:16 am #

    Interesting. I hadn’t thought about it that way before. I’ll have to watch it again with that in mind.

  3. danjewish August 13, 2009 at 2:58 pm #

    I hated this movie unfortunately. I really agree with you on Adam Sandler’s character though. The character was inconsistent and I just didn’t care about him. The stuff with Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzman were the highlights.

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