EDITORIALS

Does Judd Apatow's Funny People Have Oscar Potential?

by
April 26, 2009
Source: Hollywood Elsewhere

Funny People

Yes, I know it's way too early in the year to already be talking about next year's Oscars, however, a few interesting stories have start popping up across the web about Judd Apatow's newest summer film Funny People. The buzz is specifically coming from Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsehwere, where he has collected feedback from a few different test screenings of the film in LA. The quote that kicked it all off is from one of Wells' director friends. "Possibly an award-level thing," he told Wells. "It's more in the realm of Sandler for Best Actor and Apatow's script for Best Original Screenplay, he speculated, than a Best Picture shot."

Another separate report from one of Wells' readers says the same. "Really funny, a really sweet movie, a lot of veracity… really a brilliant film. Everybody's game goes up a lot. It's a James L. Brooks-level thing and a great role for Adam. It's a perfect blend of everything Sandler has done in a serious vein." Considering Brooks won three Oscars for Terms of Endearment and was nominated for Broadcast News, Jerry Maguire, and As Good as It Gets, that's a damn good reference to use. If Apatow has reached that same brilliant level as Brooks, which is certainly possible, then I'm even more excited for Funny People than I originally was.

Of course, it's way too early to tell if it really has any Oscar potential, because we don't know what else it'll be up against. If there are at least five other very strong contenders by the end of the year, Funny People, as good as it may be, could be edged out in the end. It's also just a long shot to begin with, because how many comedies really get nominated anyway? I mean, sure James L. Brooks had some Oscar noms, but those were all back in the 90s. Nowadays, nothing but dramas usually win Best Picture, although comedies do certainly win Best Screenplay (like Juno a few years ago) and have a shot at other categories as well.

This is all just early speculation coming from a few limited reports from early test screenings, however, it is still a strong indication that Funny People will be a great movie, even if it doesn't get nominated for any Oscars. It's the one and only comedy that I am really looking forward to this summer, especially after watching the trailer, which was one of the best trailers for a comedy I think I've ever seen. But alas, that's just the marketing side of it, and we'll have to wait to see if it's really as great as it seem to be in the trailer. Only time will tell if it really has Oscar potential, but for now, I'll say that the buzz is good, very good.

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  • Dylan
    I was already really excited for this film, in fact it is my most anticipated comedy of the entire year, but this makes to wait for it even harder.
  • Itri
    I have a feeling Judd Apatow is a sort of Woody Allen of this generation and this could possibly be his "Annie Hall". Which could mean Oscar. Who knows.
  • Jay Beezy
    I also read in a test screening review that Leslie Mann really stood up in this one. I think there's potential for a supporting actress nomination for her.
  • xerxex
    I'm really pulling for this film, there's just something about that is extremely appealing about!
  • Hey Ya
    OMG...Oscars DO we really care? All this site and posters did was rip apart the last one. I hope the Oscars disappear altogether as they've gotten so ridiculously bad at nominating and choosing movies they don't even need to be around. As for this movie, w/e. Another Apatow movie while it may be funny, I never waste money on funny movies. Now there's a good comparison with these movies. Deifnitely a DVD over Blu-ray movie. lol
  • jh
    it wont get nominated even if it deserves it because the academy is filled with snobby douchers
  • Nate
    Yeah, it is too early. The same people who attended the test screening may have 10 more choices by year's end.
  • nelson
    yeah we still have films like The Road Shutter Island The Lovely Bones Public Enemies etc.
  • Tommy
    I'm expecting Ricky Gervais' directorial debut to be the award-potential comedy of this year. I think Apatow's schtick is already abating.
  • DoomCanoe
    Wow... you can totally tell #5 never "waists" his money on funny movies. Lighten up bro, relax and cut loose for a while, laugh a little and hey! maybe your ass hole wont be so tight. =D *thumbs up* I completely agree with #2.
  • d1rEct
    I doubt it for now
  • viral
    yeah very unlikely.... judd appatow seems to be the new weinstein co. in town... his knocked up was unbelievably over-hyped... and superbad was plain bad in my opinion... except for mclovin i didnt find one moment of the film to be funny .. i doubt if this movie will be any different. i see a lot of crass humor, insensitive jokes... i can lighten up when i want to and there really has been a dearth of really "smart" comedies (barring ofcourse tropic thunder)... Judd apatow movies suck!
  • Shige
    Pigs will fly before Apatow will get an Oscar.
  • Jay Beezy
    Okay, to all the Apatow haters here, you have not seen the film, so stop judging. But yes, it is too early to tell.
  • LoveGun
    That's what i said when i saw the trailer, best movie of 2009 or all time.
  • Al
    no....not that it wont be great, but its not what ocar folks look for
  • Jay Beezy
    Oscars like dramedies. There was Little Miss Sunshine at the 2007 Oscars and Juno in 2008. They just aren't very fond of straight comedies, which is why Knocked Up, which had milder Oscar speculation than this, didn't get any noms.
  • wherermyposts?
    "yeah very unlikely…. judd appatow seems to be the new weinstein co. in town… his knocked up was unbelievably over-hyped… and superbad was plain bad in my opinion… except for mclovin i didnt find one moment of the film to be funny .. i doubt if this movie will be any different. i see a lot of crass humor, insensitive jokes… i can lighten up when i want to and there really has been a dearth of really "smart" comedies " Quote from #12 And does not get deleted. Good for you 12!
  • #18 - Hey Tim "Cloverfield", I've been TRYING to get in touch with you via email to explain, but you always use fake emails! If you would actually use a real email and let me get in touch or otherwise talk to you, that way I could explain what's going on, since you don't seem to understand - thanks!
  • Billtinnen
    Cameron Crowe directed Jerry McGuire
  • Jay Beezy
    James L. Brooks produced Jerry McGuire.

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