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August 03, 2009 - Image 11

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Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-08-03

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Monday, August 3, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com


Apatow 's aptly titled comedy
'Funny People' come in "Funny People." Adam Sandler ("Click") plot. But Sandler actually seems to benefit Hill, "Superbad") and Mark Taylor Jackson
plays George Simmons, a successful come- from the seriousness of the film, turning it (Jason Schwartzman, "The Darjeeling Lim-
droves to support leading dian and actor who seems to have it all when into arguably the best performance of his ited"), while another details the friendship
it comes to fame and fortune, but has no real career. between Wright and Simmons. The most
Sandler-Rogen duo friends. That is, until he meets Ira Wright Apatow has proven in the past that he memorable plot point is Simmons's attempt


Daily Arts Writer
It's a risky move on the part of Judd Apa-
tow ("Knocked Up") to
name his latest film "Funny * -**
People." After all, if the
film is colossally un-funny, Funny
then it's just going to be
embarrassing for everyone
involved. Luckily for him, At Quality16
the movie is funny. In fact, and Showcase
it's very funny. Universal
What the film's trail-
er doesn't reveal is that
there's a strong element of sadness within
"Dude... 'Click What the fuck?"

(Seth Rogen, "Observe and Report"), a strug-
gling comedian who is overly enthusiastic to
become Simmons's assistant. Soon, Wright
also becomes Simmons's confidant as Sim-
mons reveals his secret: He has a rare form
of leukemia and is slowly dying.
Can a comedy successfully combine leuke-
mia and laughs? It may sound surprising, but
Apatow's writing makes it work.
The film often veers, sometimes precari-
ously, between hearty laughter and tears.
But the effect isn't as jarring as one might
think. During the more upbeat moments
(mainly the stand-up routines of both San-
dler and Rogen), it seems a shame that
eventually the fun will have to end and the
film will have to return to its rather morose

simply can't figure out when to end his films
(admit it, most of his movies are about 20-25
minutes too long). The problem with "Funny
People" is that there are simply too many
funny people (sorry, couldn't help it) and
Apatow wants desperately to include them
all. This leads to several entertaining but
unnecessary scenes involving - and this is
just a very small sample - Andy Dick, Paul
Reiser, Norm MacDonald and Ray Romano.
But on the plus side, Romano's brief cameo
is funnier than anything he has ever done in
his own films.
At times, "Funny People" feels like sev-
eral movies thrown into one. One portion
involves the relationship Wright has with
his two roommates Leo Koenig (Jonah

to become a better man when faced with
his disease. All of these different aspects
work very well by themselves, but there
isn't nearly enough time for deep character
Regardless, the relationship between
Simmons and Wright remains interesting
throughout. There's something special about
seeing two funny people (again, couldn't help
it) interact with each other, and the scenes
with the pair seem more like two friends
hanging out than actors reciting their lines.
It's this casual attitude that makes "Funny
People" seem less like a movie and more like
a well-produced viral video of comedians
riffing off of each other. This is truly anoth-
er hit for the Apatow camp.

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