Funny People (2009)

George is a very successful stand up comedian who learns that he has an untreatable blood disorder and is given less than a year to live. Ira is a struggling up-and-coming stand up comedian who works at a deli and has yet to figure out his onstage persona. One night, these two perform at the same club and George takes notice of Ira. George hires Ira to be his semi-personal assistant as well as his friend. - synopsis from IMDB

 Cast  - full listing

 Genres

comedy, drama

 Facts & Figures

Directed by Judd Apatow.

Rated 6.4 on IMDB from 103088 votes.

Runtime: 146 min.

 Review

When I introduced genres to the movieroll a while ago, I remember thinking: this is going to be easy. Just slap one or more genre tags to a movie as you register the visit. And so far, it has been easy. Up till now that is. Funny People is hard to characterize, which is why I ended up with the unlikely combination of comedy and drama.

This also presents a problem for the rating. Putting a rating to a film normally involves some level of understanding of the intentions and ambition of the film. There’s no point in taking an action movie seriously. On the other hand, any movie can be good or bad in its own right. In this case, I’m going to give Apatow the benefit of the doubt and reward what is a brave attempt at touching on comedy, fatal illness and adultery all in one movie.

For 2 hours and a bit of movie, this seems a lenghty feature, but I must admit time goes by without noticing. There’s something charming about this movie that makes it worth sitting through the endless amount of bad jokes (which are intentional, from comedians working on their acts). I did feel the marital tango was an unnecessary addition because the drama never really impacted. Shame we didn’t see more of Bana as well. There might have been more there. Sandler is surprisingly adept at portraying the obnoxious George Simmons and really shows he can do more than regular slapstick stuff. The relationship between his character and Schmira is what makes this movie interesting.

Somehow, Funny People didn’t manage to bore me. I’m going to give it a thumbs up.

Seen: 03 Sep 2009

Funny People

The movieroll is diligently archiving 357 movies seen since 2006.