Funny People

Movies Reviews Judd Apatow
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Funny People

Honeymoon over, the bromance turns sour.

Funny People , like the manchildren that director Judd Apatow pillories, is blissfully unaware of its shortcomings. That’s mostly the fault of discordant subject material; the movie is a ham-fisted amalgam of comedy and drama that only partially succeeds at either. Veteran standup artist George Simmons (Adam Sandler) discovers he has terminal cancer and hires struggling comic Ira Wright (Seth Rogen) as his protégé and personal assistant. Ira is bedazzled at first by the fast-paced celebrity lifestyle, but later grows disgusted by his mentor’s egotism as George chases “the one that got away.”

The cast doesn’t want for talent: Funny People is bursting with uniformly solid performances from a cornucopia of famous faces. Sandler devours his scenes, flexing his chops as both funnyman and brooding misanthrope, often simultaneously. Sarah Silverman, RZA and perennial creep Andy Dick play bit parts, and a vulgar exchange between Eminem and Ray Romano is one of the movie’s funniest scenes. Jason Schwartzman and the zaftig Jonah Hill are stellar foils to Rogen’s Everyman as his roommates, particularly Schwartzman as the libertine star of the hilariously awful sitcom (and DVD bonus feature goldmine) Yo Teach!

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