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Sound Off: Judd Apatow's Funny People - What Did You Think?

by
July 31, 2009

Funny People

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Adam Sandler's former roommate and now famous producer and director Judd Apatow returns this summer with his third feature film - Funny People. Following both 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, Apatow has undoubtedly made his most personal film to date, and yet potentially the funniest one. But at 146 minutes long, is it actually any good? Is there too much drama and not enough comedy? Or does it have just the right balance between humor and emotion? Sound off below, leave your thoughts, and let us know what you thought of Judd Apatow's Funny People!

To fuel the fire, I liked Funny People quite a bit, but I think it has some huge flaws, which prevent it from become the next classic. The biggest problem is that George Simmons, the character Adam Sandler plays, is just an asshole - he even admits that. And over the course of the two and a half hour movie, he never changes - he's still an asshole at the end. Rogen's character Ira Wright is the only one who has a good arc, albeit a very small one, but even that wasn't enough to make a big difference. I get what Apatow was going for, making a drama with "funny people" in it, but I think his balance wasn't as perfect as it could've been.

What did you think of Judd Apatow's Funny People? A great comedy or a boring drama?

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  • haydn
    Was kinda cool, . I Liked how it was a proper movie and not the usual h-wood BS..
  • Brian Barajas
    you pretty much hit the nail on the head, the main character doesnt get redeemed in the end. Once they got to her house, the movie stalled, and they just stayed there, while the movie got messier and messier. Someone must have worked out some serious demons writing this script though.....
  • Tim
    i liked it quite a bit i feel that it's not a comedy but an awesome movie and i was surprised how well seth rogen could act loved it lots
  • Brian
    Apatow is simply brilliant; not much more needs to said.
  • Andrew
    Wow, did nobody see this at midnight or whatever? Where the comments at?
  • Maxx
    Well maybe thats the point Alex. I mean do people really change? Especially in a short period of time. Even when we are faced with dramatic adversity we still continue to be who we are. Maybe that is what Apatow wanted to show.
  • Itri
    That's pretty sad you expected or needed George Simmons to be redeemed by the end and not be an asshole. Oh well, most of us won't need that.
  • Alec Von Doh
    I felt that it dragged on a little bit but I laughed throughout most of the film, alot. It's not their best film to date and it's the first one that I have felt uneasy about after walking out. I've decided, after loving each of their previous movies, this is the first one I just "really, really like." I'm still trying to get my head around it.
  • one
    Rarely do I agree with Alex...but on this I do. At #4 ...simply put ...you're an idiot. Apatow makes the same movie, with the same cast over and over- he just changes their character names- he's not a genius, he's an idiot who doesnt know how to tell a real story.
  • Farris
    I pretty much agree with you. I walked out satisfied but there were a few problems.
  • It was a bit long in the tooth at the end there, but as a whole it was excellent! I was really surprised at how many of my friends expected the movie to go the whole ridiculous Hollywood "happy sunshine ending" route. In the real world, things don't all get wrapped up in a pretty package and I like how this movie reflects that things are always more complicated than that. I think that this movie is the next logical step to the potential that Apatow has shown in his previous films. I think he's growing out of the college slacker comedy genre and into films with more and more depth and poignancy.
  • bishopsring
    Good grown up movie with some comedy in there. More of life little lessons type movie about doing things that we all wished we did. Considering I was laid off this Monday, I was looking for some real comedy, but it did bring about what life is like in a sense.
  • Tyler
    It was a great movie. The emotion I felt in the first part of the movie was moving. But there were some great one liners. I would go back to see this again. It was a little long but the comedy filled that up.
  • Brian Barajas
    im not asking for a hollywood ending, just a little more character progression would be nice....
  • Lasseter
    All in all, I thought "Funny People" was an OK movie. I felt it was the worst of the films Apatow's directed - this is just my opinion, but here's why I think this way. The Good 1. Adam Sandler is great. Again, I don't know how much of this is based on his relationship with Apatow, but he nailed his part. In particular there's a scene where he's flipping out at Seth Rogen because he can't watch a basketball game that was surprisingly simple but well done. 2. Schwartzman, Hill, and Bana are all great as well. I only wish Eric Bana was in the film longer. Seth Rogen is great too - it was good to see him play a different role. The Bad 1. George, Sandler's character, is almost possible for us to relate to or connect with. He's so famous, elite, and a dick that it's hard to find any sort of underlying principles and qualities that he has that we can relate to. I honestly didn't care at all what happened to Sandler, yes, he needed to be an ass hole in order to be "redeemed", but Apatow overlooked the fact that the audience has to connect to a character to care about him or her. 2. It is all over the place. There are 3 movies in one here. George & Ira (Rogen) and their relationship. Ira's relationship with his two roommates (Hill and Schwartzman), and Sandler's relationship with Leslie Mann. Now you may say, hey, you can have different stories in one movie, and yes, I agree. But none of them are as deeply delved into as they should be. There is no actual closure in any of them, and usually that's fine, I like movies with endings you can interpret into different ways, but Apatow spends so much time trying to work all of them in it's impossible to develop them the way they should be. 3. The dick jokes. Yes, a few are funny. But I thought in "Funny People" it was way over the top. There is one hilarious one involving Tom Cruise, David Beckham and Will Smith, but it seems like whenever Apatow needed something to lighten up the mood, he threw in some sort of sex joke, and after a while it just went over the top. Don't get me wrong, I loved "Knocked Up", "Superbad", and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" - they all had their fair share. But the jokes in "Funny People" I didn't find too funny. I understand it's Apatow's nature to combine human emotion with raunchy jokes, but I just felt it unnecessary after a point. And I'm 19 years old. And the absurd number of celebrity cameos in this movie seemed to me that Apatow was almost at a loss for jokes. 4. I have no idea how much of this film is based on Apatow's life, but I feel like a good amount of it is, as it is extremely hard for the audience to relate to, or least it was for me. He may have tried to make it a little too personal. I love Judd Apatow and his crew. I just thought "Funny People" was a letdown, because it could've been so much better and funnier.
  • jim
    i liked it but it was by far his worst film to date. all the drama and crap was endurable and there were some funny parts (most of which were in the trailers) but i kept checking the time for the last hour. im wondering how it is even possible that this raised oscar worthy buzz earlier this year in the article firstshowing posted.
  • Itri
    Okay so I saw it and I was right. You don't have to sympathize with George. That's not the point. I think it is an amazing film and is better then Knocked Up in my opinion. Phenomenal and the Oscar talk should not die down at all.
  • BrentD
    7/10. You will definitely get a LOT of laughs out of this one, which is always expected with Apatow cause the man is a comedic god...but I really felt like this movie had no resolution at all. It was one of those endings where something is happening, and the camera starts to make a move that looks like an ending shot and you're going "NOO THIS CAN'T BE IT, PLEASE, NO CREDITS!!" Then BOOM you've got scrolling text on the screen. It was to the point that I was saying to my friend that we should stay after the credits to see if there is any more resolution to the plot (which is a good thing...I wanted more!), but we gave up after a few minutes. This just made me think that if the movie was already 2 hours and 15 minutes, why couldn't they just add another 10-15 mins on top of that and write in a killer ending, whether its dramatic or happy? I honestly thought that Simmons was going to die at the end, which I know is a downer and all, but it would have been more to think about than "I'm friends with Rogen again and now I wrote him some jokes." Just didn't really make sense to me... The movie was great all around; great acting, great story, great comedy. The abrupt end was just enough to make me unsettled about the movie.
  • Scott
    I hate Adam Sandler. >_>
  • Shige
    I have to agree with Alex here, it was trying to be more of a drama than comedy. Even though it completely failed as drama. So basicly it fell somewhere in between there. There is a genre called drama-comedy but this completely fails to deliver any dramatic moments as well as bringing any enjoyment at all. It was not fun, it was not dramatic in any way. Basicly, it was just a painful drag from point A to point B (B being the expected one). The 40 Year Old Virgin was fun. Now its just plain booooring.
  • twispious
    You need a new phrase in place of "to fuel the fire",things are getting quite repititive
  • Catbert
    #21 does have a point on your 'fuel the fire' routine Well I think my friend and I must have been lucky to leave the movie early in order to make it to the screening of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Where we left off was probably 10 minutes from the conclusion of the film and due to missing the lack of ending has given us the opportunity to imagine our own twist ending for a film that really seemed to lose a sense of direction.
  • Movieraider321
    I enjoyed it, but as everyone else has said it had its flaws. I will buy it, I'll go see it again, but overall out his films, it was too drastic of a change rather then a subtle "hey let's move in this direction" it was a "Hey look at this, I can do this side to". 6.5-7/10
  • Movieraider321
    btw 18 it was a 2hour and 40 minute feature.
  • dahmer
    the funniest "SERIOUS" movie i have seen.
  • BrentD
    #23-24 (Movieraider321) Funny People Rated (R) • 2 hrs. 16 min : )
  • allen sharpe
    i think the highest praise i can give the movie is, ill probably buy it. i thought it was really funny at certain parts. then when im watching the dvd i can skip the parts where nothing happens or when im bored i can turn it off. i did enjoy it (alot at certain points) but its too long.
  • Doug
    I enjoyed the movie, but definitely think it falls behind Knocked Up and Virgin. It had a great premise, but my biggest complaint was the length. I did not enjoy the whole "Yo Teach" stuff and didn't think Schwartzman's character added anything to the movie. He wasn't funny and just took up more time. I also would have liked to see Leslie Mann's character earlier in the movie. Overall, like I said before, there were parts I enjoyed and liked the story in general, but I certainly think the movie could have been a lot better.
  • Andrew
    It got really slow around the family bits. The whole part between George and what'shername just DRAAAAAGGED OUT for what seemed like forever. The funny bits were funny, but the dramatic bits had... what I can best describe as extremely poor pacing. Too much pointless stuff happened, too many things took too long to develop, too many conversations I didn't care about just went on and on. Sandler was great. Rogen was... Rogen. Someday I'll see him not playing himself... someday. I loved Eric Bana's part -- I think very highly of his acting. Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzmann were good in complimentary roles. But Judd Apatow just can't direct drama. Can't do it. He doesn't know how. It comes out tortured, like when I used to write essays for school about books I hadn't read and didn't care about. The dramatic bits in this were absolutely brutal to watch -- not because they were twisting around your emotions, but because they were just miserable and dull. Apatow needs to stick with what he knows.
  • Rozco
    Personally, this is my favorite of the three films he's directed, and I was a huge fan of the last two. What I really love about "Funny People" is that every character isn't just waiting for their next big one liner, maybe this is the result of less improvisation or more focused direction, probably both. Now don't get me wrong, I love stupid improvisation comedy (Step Brothers is one of my favorite comedies ever) but the growth that that Apatow has shown with this film is pretty remarkable, and it's hands down Sandler's best performance....and probably Rogens as well...and Leslie Mann's....and maybe Eric Bana's.... For the people saying that George Simmons was too hard to relate too....why are you even posting here? Great characters don't have to be relate-able, and they often are "great" because they are portraying something you could never, or would never want to be. And saying his story arc didn't go long enough has absolutely no merit. Every character in this film reacted to the situation at hand realistically, and in their own way, hilariously. Of course Sandler's Simmons is an egotistical asshole, he's a world famous man shut off from close relationships, getting minor happiness out of making other people laugh by performing way below his ability....remind you of anyone? Sandler is playing himself in this film, or at least the version of him that he doesn't want to become, and it's a daring performance. And a great one. As for the family crisis meltdown that makes up the last act; how any self respecting movie fanatic can not absolutely go nuts over the freedom and gall Apatow displayed with that ongoing sequence is completely beyond me. He had the balls to start with a self referential "dick joke comedy" (Rogen: "do you ever feel tired of playing the same song every night?" Musician that i can't remember for the life of me: "do you ever get tired of saying dick jokes?") and delve into a simple story about the most complicated thing in the world: love. Of course it doesn't end like we want it to, but do you people just watch the movie, or skim through it? The scene where Simmons is talking to the oldest daughter, and she reply's to his question of "maybe it would be better if your parents split" with a simple and heartbreaking "no...no that wouldn't be good at all"; how could anyone really want Simmon's to break up this family? The fact that he still would shows that his character could only grow so much, and in the limits of two in a half hours, he does. The final shot, where he comes back to Ira and they talk while the camera tracks back through all the "normal people" of the grocery mart, puts the rest of the movie in perfect context: That some people are "Funny People", and nothing more than that. Anyway....the alludes to music and film that I also love is always a plus in Apatow's films, Ira's first kiss with watsername overlooking LA set to Wilco's Jesus, Etc. was a huge personal plus for me, but with all that aside there is still a fantastically directed, acted, and written film about serious issues with real people, some of whom happen to be extremely funny. I couldn't have asked for anything more, and I think this might be my favorite movie of 09 thus far....
  • Great movie. Loved Adam Sandler. Though Seth Rogan was really acting for once. But I hope the DVD will go more on about characters. Too much movement. The story did jump but it worked for the first hour not the last.
  • Movieraider321
    Funny People Runtime:146 min source(IMDB) so 2hours and 26minutes. too long for a comedy regardless
  • Kalladin
    the actors in this movie are some of the best of an entire generation alive today and that's one of the reasons i didn't want it to end, not to mention the dynamic, unpredictable nature of the script. having said that 2 hours and 26 minutes was not too long, but probably just right. i really enjoyed the third act because i had no idea what would happen or how it would play out, a feature of a progressive and thought provoking film. i liked the ending because it left things open, unresolved but with a glimmer of hope that Simmons appreciated the closeness he began to feel toward Ira, suggesting that he may have in fact learned something and was ready to make a change in how he treated himself and others. to balance comedy with drama, the unconventional with the status quo, is quite a difficult proposition and Apatow does a formidable job. the opening scene with Sandler making prank calls wasn't funny and kind of put me off but then the movie grabbed me as soon as Simmons' first doctor began to explain his diagnosis. and from there Apatow created a rich storyline which interwove many plot elements that kept the film interesting and fresh. will this movie change the world? probably not by much. did i learn something by watching it? sure. was i entertained and inspired? absolutely. 8/10
  • Lordofcinema
    I didn't expect much & I didn't get much! It was a little boring & about 20-25min too long! I do have to say that I'm not a fan of Rogen but next to the 40-year old virgin, this was his best work.
  • Bfrancis
    I'm not reading all these comments but here's what I gotta say about Simmon's "redemption" FUCK THAT SHIT. This movie was the most real thing I've seen since The Squid and The Whale. He does have redemption. I don't know what you're talking about that he stays an asshole. This isn't A Christmas Carol, people don't always change instantly. When he was giving Ira notes and helping him with his jokes at the end he was moving on with his life and making an effort to be a better person. That's his redemption. If there was no redemption they wold have ended it with his blinds going down. I dig your site but get fucking real man.
  • Christopher
    OK, 35, no one cares. You saw Squid and the Whale? Get a life, nerd.
  • Brian Hazlett
    FUCCKK YOU 35!!! NO ONE GIVES A RAT'S ASS ABOUT a CHRISTMAS CAROL! WHAT KIND OF BFRANCIS?!?!?! ARE YOU RELATED TO RFRANCIS OR KJFRANICS OIR FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING PRICK! SUCK MY COCK MOTHAFUCKA! You're a dick. Freakin' slut. I'M GONNA COME OVER TO YOUR APARTMENT AND FINGER THE SHIT OUT OF YOU, YOU FUCKING WHORE! - Brian H.
  • Brian Hazlett
    FUCCKK YOU 35!!! NO ONE GIVES A RAT'S ASS ABOUT a CHRISTMAS CAROL! WHAT KIND OF BFRANCIS?!?!?! ARE YOU RELATED TO RFRANCIS OR KJFRANICS OIR FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING PRICK! SUCK MY COCK MOTHAFUCKA! You're a dick. Freakin' slut. I'M GONNA COME OVER TO YOUR APARTMENT AND FINGER THE SHIT OUT OF YOU, YOU FUCKING WHORE! - Brian H.
  • Jim
    I wonder how much apatow had to cut out of this already too long movie because there is a lot of footage in the trailers that didn't make the cut I saw
  • I enjoyed the first hour of this movie, more than any movie I can remember. But once the doctor gave Sandler the clean bill of health, I could just feel the movie losing steam. I enjoyed the raw honesty in this movie, thought the actors killed, but I just didn't enjoy the direction Apatow went with the movie. I felt that the story would have been much more interesting, had he just focused on the young comedians. If you get a theater that likes to pack in trailers, this could approach 2:50, which is just way to long. All that aside I still recommend fans of Apatow, Rogen, & Sandler to check this out, just be warned when you stop hearing dick jokes the movie is about to start going downhill.
  • ari
    Given this film was long but it was worth sitting though. Knocked up was relatively long but very good. The opening scene was unbelievably funny with the roast beef haha. I thought overall it was well directed with a great performance from the whole cast and i can't wait for the movie to come out on dvd, Apatow has done it agian-40 year old virigin may still be my favorite but with this film apatow shows his range in that his films can also show depth in hid charachters.
  • Finally saw it and I liked it. Only scene that should have not made it was when George Simmons shows up at Otto's with the notes. I felt that scene was not believable at all and a huge cop out.
  • Clover
    With the exception of the horried and un-talented Seth Rogen....( who ruined this film) it was OK.. Sandler actually did a good job.
  • red923
    i thought this was the best of all of apatow's movies. it was too long - way too much time spent at what's-her-names house. i was as bored as seth rogan's character the whole time they were there. LOVED eric bana (probably the best part of the movie) and the german doctor. i liked that the chic stayed with her husband, and adam sandler's character started to grow up and become a real person. and i actually liked seth rogan in this one. hated the nonstop penis jokes. good grief. but overall, i enjoyed it.
  • Lola
    The concept was clever but the movie as a whole was just OK -- not too bad but nothing I'd be psyched to see again. It was soooo long. There were some awkward moments that obviously didn't work that should have been cut (or cut down). I agree about the excessive dick jokes. I appreciate vulgarity in humor but it got to the point where it wasn't funny anymore.
  • Jasonly
    It was like a comic version of "Vanilla Sky". Really lame ass movie. I mean 45min in I was thinking.."I spend 10bucks for this junk" This took me away from more enjoyable things such as clipping my toe nails, flossing, raking leaves, cleaning toilets, getting prison raped? Gawd How can Judd go from a hit like "Knocked up" to this. It is like he called it in. Sandler should go back to his roots. There must be a way to fit a "Happy Gilmore 2" into this whole Tiger woods thing. 2 thumbs down followed by a projectile vomit no

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