So it’s late in the year and this has been released for months. But I finally saw it yesterday. Judd Apatow’s Funny People. I’m not too big on Apatow, so didn’t anticipate much. And the reviews were not exceptional. It tells the story of George. A professional comedian played by Sandler who finds out he may have a fatal disease. Buoyed by the reality of his looming death he hires an assistant [Seth Rogen] and schemes to win back his old girlfriend [Leslie Mann] who is now married with children.
Funny People is the perfect example of a good idea gone bad. The premise is fine, but the execution is not. The film never knows what it wants to be. Is it Sandler’s film, is it Rogen’s? Sometimes it even wants to be Mann’s. The pacing is horrible and the script though fine in spots, is ultimately spotty. I could imagine Apatow writing this hoping for mainstream and critical success, and that’s just the problem. It’s trying too hard. It wants to be witty, romantic, dramatic, and gross-out funny. In the end, it can’t decide which and it fails on all accounts.