Project 101

Dan attempts to watch 101 movies in 12 months

Archive for April 10th, 2010

38 – Funny People

Posted by Dan on April 10, 2010

I know this movie got panned in most reviews I saw – but I think the main problem is that it was advertised as a typical Apatow movie. I mean, just look at that poster. It even says that it’s The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up as associated movies. Yes, Judd Apatow wrote and directed Funny People, but do yourself a favour and just ignore that shit before starting this movie. Funny People is not supposed to be a funny movie.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are funny moments, but – okay, let me break it down for you: Adam Sandler plays, well, Adam Sandler. His character’s name is George Simmons, but essentially it’s like it’s Adam Sandler 20 years from now. One day George finds out that he’s got a terminal illness and only has a few months to live. So one night, down in the dumps, goes to some suburban open mic night, where he sees Ira, played by Seth Rogen. Ira is an okay comedian, but has dreams of giving up his shit day-job to do comedy full time. George gets up on stage before Ira and does a routine that’s more like a foretelling of death. Ira takes the piss out of him a little and thinks he gets away with making George look like an idiot until he runs into him in the carpark. They exchange bland pleasantries. The next day, George calls Ira and asks him to join him for a corporate gig a few weeks later. During the gig, George offers him a job as his assistant.

We then follow George on his trip of dealing with his terminal illness and his experiment with a trial drug, monitored by his doctor, and how his life revolves around it as he accepts his fate. Apatow apparently wanted to write a story about his life as an up and comer, but realised that all his mentors were quite nice to him – but what would’ve happened if his biggest influences were jerks? This is that movie. It’s almost a documentary in parts than it is fiction. There’s plenty of comedic actors playing themselves, and you’ll spend many scenes picking out your favourites – hell, there’s a scene where even Eminem tells George that he needs to relax.

Also, being an Aussie, it’s quite jarring to see Eric Bana playing an Australian. There’s a particular emotional scene which is quite weird due to all the St Kilda Football Club merch that surrounds the characters in the scene. Not to mention Eric Bana finally playing an Aussie role again!

Funny People is an occasionally funny, but generally quite emotional and rather sad movie, but in an unexpected way that makes it a joy to watch. You feel like you’re getting a true insight into their lives in an authentic, genuine way.

Funny People gets 4 out of 5 one-liners.

Ray Romano: [regarding George’s illness] How did he know he had it?
Ira: He said he was feeling dizzy and tired. So he went to the doctor, and it was in his blood work.
Ray Romano: That sucks, ’cause I get dizzy and tired. Anybody gets sick and I think I’m gonna get it. Is it contagious? It’s not contagious, is it?
Ira: No. No, I’ve been around him a lot. I feel fine.
Ray Romano: Okay, ’cause when you were talking, a little bit of your spit hit my lip. Not that you got it, but he spits on your lip, you spit on mine, and the next thing you know, I’m dead, and my wife’s fucking George Lopez.

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