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Funny People: a different (but good) Adam Sandler comedy

September 23, 2009

This week I visited my local movie theatre and saw Funny People (2009).
This is no ordinary Adam Sandler film. This film features the humour expected from Seth Rogan and Adam Sandler, however this style of humour is shadowed by sadness, regret and illness. Although this is so, the all star cast take you on an experience where humour is serious work and happiness is no laughing matter. I had trouble deciding who’s side I was on- the regretful cheating ex-boyfriend, the cheating but willing to change husband, the confused wife (with a mid-life crisis), or the young comedian who wants to help people make the right choice (who sometimes makes things worse).

After hearing an interview with the writer and director Judd Apatow, it becomes clear that this film illustrates a real experience. Judd Apatow’s experience in the comedy world, started as a teenager who exploited his high school radio station in order to interview and befriend comedians and of course his adult experience came from being a comedian, comedy writer, producer and director. On top of this, he lived with Adam Sandler during Sandler’s Saturday Night Live days. This experience alone would have written this film, as Apatow would have watched Sandler became a house-hold name over night.
Of course, the fact that Seth Rogan (the character, Leo Koenig) and Adam Sandler (the character, George Simmons) are both comedians, do help their characters but I believe Apatow’s real life experiences were the greatest influences within the film.

The protagonist, George Simmons share the same successful comedy and film career as the real life Adam Sandler. On top of this, Simmons also shares memories and experiences with Sandler. The film begins with a home video of a young Sandler prank calling a restaurant. This was no re-enactment. Then the film continues and the audience is illustrated various home videos of the young Adam Sandler performing stand up comedy. By illustrating these home videos, the audience cannot help but merge Adam Sandler, with the fabricated character of George Simmons. However, since Simmons is displayed as an arrogant demanding bastard, and Sandler is known to be easygoing celebrity, these characters could not merged completely. Nevertheless, by presenting old footage of young Sandler, the audience are able to relate to the character on a personal level.

One huge problem I had with this film is the fact that Judd Apatow’s wife, Leslie Mann, and their two daughters, Maude and Iris Apatow starred in the film. There is a scene where Mann’s character, Laura, puts on a DVD of Mable, played by Maude Apatow, singing in her school play. This home video looks legitimate, and illustrates Mable singing for a couple of minutes. Of course, this scene could have released a reaction like this: AWWwwWwwWww, she’s quite talented. But it didn’t. All I was thinking was that this scene was securing Maude Apatow’s future in the performance industry. Sad but true. There was no need for this scene, but it featured anyway and the audio from video also featured in the closing credits!

If you want a classic Adam Sandler film, then you might be disappointed. Try and remove these expectations and see the film! If not for the story, then for the jokes! Check out the trailer below!

Till next time


2 Comments leave one →
  1. lauracrawford permalink
    September 28, 2009 11:13 AM

    I’d like to see this! It has a great team behind it and despite not being a fan of Adam Sandler, he looks like he delivers a good performance in this. If you haven’t seen ‘Punch drunk Love’ and you’re a Sandler fan, I’d recommend checking that out.

    • Shmaccar permalink*
      September 28, 2009 3:33 PM

      Hello hello

      Thanks for the comment!

      Being a stalker (from the safe distance of Australia) of Adam Sandler, i have seen Punch Drunk Love- But being the first serious Sandler film, i expected something better. I wasnt entirely engaged and i expected more. When a comedian enters the serious world of acting, it has to be an awesome film in order to capture the fan base that would usually seek a drama, but would not usually watch an Adam Sandler film.
      But if you did like Punch Drunk Love, you might like ‘reign over me’ which is another sandler film. check it out!

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