Movie Review: Funny People (Adam Sandler, Seth Rogan, Leslie Mann) 2009

Posted: December 29, 2012 in Comedy
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funny people

George Simmons (Sandler) is a famous comedian and movie star, who finds out he’s got a rare blood disease like leukemia.  He hits the stand-up comedy scene, where he does a maudlin set of jokes.  There George is followed in his stand up by Ira Wright (Rogan) a struggling stand-up comedian who quits his day job at the deli to pursue his comedy dream.  Ira slams George’s dark humor, and George is first offended by Ira, but then hires him as a writer, and asks him to live with him. George’s roommates, Leo (Jonah Hill) a fellow comedian, and Mark an actor on the tv show Yo Teach (Jason Schwartzman) are instantly jealous.  The more jokes that Ira writes for George, the closer friends the two become.

Then, George’s first girlfriend Laura (Mann) shows up at George’s mansion, and tells George she never stopped loving him, even though she’s married to the Australian version of George.  Laura sleeps with George, and then finds out that George’s non-traditional therapy has made George one of the 8% to survive ALM.  After Laura and George seemingly commit to one another, Laura’s Aussie husband Clarke, (Eric Bana) comes back from China.  After George fails to cry at a videotape of Lara’s daughter, the flaky Laura is suddenly undecided about who she really loves.  Does she decide on George or Clarke?

This is a genuinely funny movie There are a lot of jokes that made me laugh out loud.  There’s a routine that Sandler does on Facebook that’s hilarious, and also a joke about the one that got away that’s very funny.  Most of the jokes work, even though most of the jokes are of a crude sexual nature.  The movie works because the chemistry between Rogen and Sandler, who have really good timing together, the chemistry between Leslie Mann and Sandler is not as good, and Sandler does not have the acting chops to play the more dramatic scenes with Mann, he reverts to his whiny delivery.  I did not lie that the miracle cure took place 45 minutes before the end of the movie, but again Sandler doesn’t have the acting chops to be a dying man for this entire movie.  Schwartzman is annoying in this role, and that’s unfortunate, because he can be funny when he wants to be.. On the bright side, Rogen, who can be smug (as in Observe and Report) is almost likeable.  Sandler is funny again, after a long time, but let’s face it, Sandler is playing himself.  Eric Bana is very funny as a supercharged caffeinated international free trade Australian.  Who knew he was that funny?  The satire of dumb tv (Yo Teach) and dumb Sandler-esque moves, (Re-do) is mostly dead on, the later parts of the movie tend to drag, because the movie is almost 2 1/2 hours long.  Maybe some of the many cameos (like Eminem for example) could have been cut.  But this is a largely enjoyable movie. There is some nudity so parents be warned.

Funny people. Funny.

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