Movie Reviews

Film Review: “Funny People”

(Universal. 2 hour, 26 minutes. Rated R for language and crude sexual humor throughout, and some sexuality. Directed by Judd Apatow.) Adam Sandler (George Simmons), Seth Rogen (Ira Wright), Leslie Mann (Laura), Eric Bana (Clarke), Jonah Hill (Leo Koenig), Jason Schwartzman (Mark Taylor Jackson). Music by Michael Andrews and Jason Schwartzman.

George Simmons (Sandler), an aging misanthropic comedian, tries to reevaluate his life after a near-death experience. In the interim, he takes on a fledgling comedian as an assistant (Rogen) and tries to reconnect with his family and his old flame Laura (Mann). A winning script and a great cast cap off a surprisingly enjoyable film. Sandler seems very natural in this role as he’s essentially playing a version of himself (the film even uses footage from his actual early performances). Rogen is convincing as an awkward up-and-comer, Hill steals every scene he’s in and Schwartzman brings a welcome smarminess to his role as the lone successful roommate.

However, under all the dirty jokes and macho posturing lies a nicely told story about a man facing adversity and finally growing up. It may sound like a familiar setup for an Apatow film, as many of them feature immature man-children who have to finally face reality, but this film feels a bit more contemplative. George’s brush with mortality and subsequent actions give the film more heft, and nicely underscore the humor. It feels like a natural successor to Apatow’s earlier work on the TV show Freaks and Geeks, which did a fine job of blending humor and drama. My only complaint is that the movie drags a bit in the second act and could stand to be about 20 minutes shorter. The title doesn’t lie; these are funny people.

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Jared Counts

Digital Technology Manager

Jared Counts moved to Houston in 1995, survived high school and college, and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Communications (Media Production) and a minor in Film Studies. After being hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, he proceeded to bounce between...

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