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Funny People

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Product Overview

When seasoned comedian george simmons learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship causes him to take a relatuvely green performer under his wing as his opening act.


Studio Universal
SKU 212489014
UPC 025195053532
UPC 14 00025195053532
Format DVD
Release Date 9/25/2011
Rating Rating
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Name Sandler,Adam
Link Search Link
ReviewSource San Francisco Chronicle
Review These are good days for screen comedy - enjoy them while they last. Filmmakers are trying new things, breaking with formula and putting the emphasis on honesty, whether it leads them into extreme harsh humor or into areas that mix comedy with drama. At the head of the innovators is Judd Apatow, who, despite the success of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, continues to push the definition of what a Judd Apatow movie is - and what a comedy can be - in his latest, Funny People....Funny People is a true brass ring effort, a reach for excellence that takes big risks. It's 146 minutes, with a story that's more European in feeling than American. It's not tightly structured but concentrates on the characters and their lives. There are no comic set pieces, and the personalities aren't exaggerated. Virtually every laugh comes simply from people saying funny things that they know are funny...Funny People introduces us into the professional culture of comedians, how they work, act, talk and think. (They don't laugh when they're told a joke. They say, "OK, that's funny.") Apatow shows us bad stand-up, mediocre stand-up and other stand-up that isn't good yet but could be. Almost in passing, Funny People satirizes bad TV sitcoms and pathetic formula comedies: Among George's credits are "Mer-man" and "My Best Friend Is a Robot," in which he is supposed to have co-starred with Owen Wilson...But despite the laughs, the movie is at heart serious. Rogen is subtle and effective as a young comic whose ambition is tempered by a fundamental decency. And Leslie Mann is lovely in a straight emotional role, as the ex-girlfriend George most values, if only because she loved him before he was anybody. Apatow takes no shortcuts in his characterizations. A TV sitcom star (Jason Schwartzman), who is partly shallow and self-satisfied, is not really a bad young guy, after all. And Eric Bana, as Mann's husband, is a complex figure, on the surface just a slick businessman, but one who is on a genuine spiritual journey...Apatow is not afraid of his characters being like real people or of his stories finding their way to their own truth. With his first two movies but especially with Funny People, Apatow is showing that truth is not the enemy of comedy but its wellspring and its ideal destination.
Reviewer Mick LaSalle
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Stand-up comics feel compelled to make you laugh. They're like an obnoxious uncle, with better material. The competition is so fierce these days that most of them are pretty good. I laugh a lot. But unlike my feelings for Catherine Keener, for example, I don't find myself wishing they were my friends. I suspect they're laughing on the outside but gnashing their teeth on the inside...Judd Apatow would possibly agree with this theory. Recently I e-mailed him a bunch of questions and that was the only one he ignored. He was writing material for comics when he was a teenager, and his insights into the stand-up world inform Funny People, his new film that has a lot of humor and gnashing. It's centered on Adam Sandler's best performance, playing George Simmons, a superstar comic who learns he has a very short time to live...He is without the resources to handle this news. He doesn't have the "support group" they say you need when you get sick. He's made a dozen hit movies and lives in opulence in a house overlooking Los Angeles but is so isolated, he doesn't even seem to have any vices for company. Adam Sandler modulates George's desperation in a perceptive, sympathetic performance; I realized here, as I did during his Punch Drunk Love, that he contains an entirely different actor than the one we're familiar with. His fans are perfectly happy with Sandler's usual persona, the passive-aggressive semi-simpleton. This other Sandler plays above and below that guy, and more deeply...The film presents a new Seth Rogen, much thinner, dialed down, with more dimensions. Rogen was showing signs of forever playing the same buddy-movie co-star, but here we find that he, too, has another actor inside. So does Jason Schwartzman, who often plays vulnerable but here presents his character as the kind of successful rival you love to hate...Apatow understands that every supporting actor has to pull his weight. The casting director who found him Torsten Voges to play George's doctor earned a day's pay. Voges is in some eerie, bizarre way convincing as a cheerful realist bringing terrible news: miles better than your stereotyped grim movie surgeon...After an enormously successful career as a producer, this is Apatow's third film as a director, after The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up. Of him it can be said: He is a real director. He's still only 41. So here we go.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
ReviewSource ReelViews
Review It's written and directed by Judd Apatow and stars Adam Sandler and Seth Rogan, so it must be funny, right? The problem with expectations is that they can lead to disappointment. That's not to say Funny People is devoid of humor - in fact, there are some genuinely funny bits sprinkled throughout. However, Funny People represents an attempt by Apatow to broaden the real estate of the orifice into which he has become pigeonholed. His previous two directorial efforts, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, have frequently been labeled as ribald romantic comedies - films whose sweet cores are hidden by copious layers of profanity and frank sexual discourse. Funny People is a different sort of movie, because it's more of a drama, and an uncomfortable one at that, than it is a comedy. Any relationships, whether male/female romances or male/male bonding, are secondary to Apatow's fascination with the travails of a misanthrope who is living under a death sentence. The movie will challenge Apatow fans and Sandler devotees. It's a brave move that is partially undone by pacing problems and a lack of focus. Despite having obviously been cut to bring down the running length, Funny People still clocks in at nearly 2 1/2 hours, and that's too long for these characters to sustain audience interest. The movie wears thin its welcome a couple of reels before Apatow has finished telling his story...Funny People's tone is odd, as if George Carlin had script doctored a screenplay written by Ingmar Bergman. It's not inherently uninteresting but it can be off-putting and the film's indefensible length turns what could have been an intriguing experiment into something that too often feels like an endurance contest. In the end, Apatow can't quite bring all the elements together. The last film that left me conflicted and believing there was something good to be found in the debris was Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown. It's refreshing to see Apatow branching out and trying something off the beaten path but, in this case, his sense of ambition may have caused him to lose his way.
Reviewer James Berardinelli
ReviewRating 8
DVD, English, Spanish, French, Dolby, Digital Audio
Product Attributes
Video Format DVD
Kyle Smith, New York Post Turns out to be one of the most absorbing films of the year.
Perry Seibert, TV Guide The result is a raucously funny and poignant love letter to standup comics.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone Magazine It's the work of a major talent.
Claudia Puig, USA Today Funny People nimbly intersperses humor and reflection. It is a rumination on mortality, fame and life choices, punctuated with Apatow's trademark raunchy humor.

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