DVD: Funny People (15)
Friday 15 January 2010
Judd Apatow's third movie emerged into a Hollywood comedy landscape so saturated with his influence that the backlash was almost inevitable.
As well as his own directorial efforts, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, there were the 10 or so projects to which he had put his name as producer, not to mention all those other bromances starring members of his troupe (Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen et al), which seemed to have the Apatow stamp, too. Yet Funny People, for all its flaws – yes, it's too long – may yet be remembered as the richest of his three films to date.
Adam Sandler turns in a superb performance as George Simmons, a lonely, misanthropic comedy superstar who spends the first half of the film expecting to die of a terminal illness, before being unexpectedly cured. Seth Rogen is low-key as his protégé and punchbag Ira, but Ira's pals Leo (Jonah Hill) and Mark (Jason Schwartzmann) are a hoot – as is Eric Bana, playing the husband of George's childhood sweetheart, Laura (Leslie Mann, Apatow's offscreen wife).
Funny People is the director's 1970s movie: loping, reflective, frequently downbeat. It's also a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the lives of stand-up comics, featuring cameos from some of the best known faces on the circuit, and demonstrating that funny people are frequently far from being happy people.
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for beauty pageant
- 2 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 3 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 4 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'
Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
Lucy, film review: Scarlett Johansson will blow your mind in Luc Besson's complex thriller
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw
Miley Cyrus concert banned on morality grounds in the Dominican Republic
Coolio has sold his soul to Pornhub
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians