Title: Funny People
Director: Judd Apatow
Writers: Judd Apatow
It is the third directional feature from Judd Apatow, which failed to match its commercial success in the box office, mainly in northern America, as Judd’s precedent KNOCKED UP (2007) and THE 40-YEAR-OLD VIRGIN (2005). However it is a more mature and well-intentioned film and I do enjoy it as now good comedies are exiguous.
The virtue of this film is that it dares to show us some deep emotional levels (in a non-comedic way) rarely seen in Hollywood comedies, especially in those under the heavy profitable burden of bankable superstars, take our protagonist Adam Sandler into inspection, his previous film I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY (2007) and YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN (2008) are both garbage and vulgar, which have hurt his star-power a little bit, one reason is charged upon FUNNY PEOPLE’s lukewarm admissions (another main cause is the wrong timing, it should not be a summer blockbuster, an autumn release could be better as the good review could keep longer legs). Let time to tell which one is the real gold then, also FUNNY PEOPLE is definitely Adam’s best performance hitherto.
There are plenties of standing-up comedies in the film, thanks to the excellent translation, I can understand all of them in a Chinese way and laugh a hearty laugh, though most of them are all composed of indecent remarks (which I doubt whether is the real criteria now in USA), meanwhile it recalls me of one episode in MODERN FAMILY, maybe I am getting old too if I have to admit I do enjoy these jokes.
Fortunately, one foul-mouths all the time does not act in the same way, the funny part is only embellishment, virtually the film deals with a serious topic of how to evaluate one’s life and find one’s true happiness (you don’t have to wait until the moment when you are on the list of the death) and at the same time it respectfully shows some touching moments in a self-reflecting way.
One can easily detect Judd’s ambition with this film, who has the ability to tell a decent story, although FUNNY PEOPLE might not be considered as his best (a lengthy 150 minutes really hurts), I am optimistic to his successive projects.
At last I have to mention Eric Bana, who is hilarious in his supporting role (especially the Chinese talking part), and who says handsome and muscular man can not manage to do comedies (a sad truth is as far as appearance concerned Adam Sandler is equivalent to Tom Cruise and Eddie Murphy to Will Smith in Hollywood comedy kingdom, let’s forget about Mike Myers, Tim Allen, Kevin James, Rob Schneider, Martin Lawrence, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn or even Jim Carrey, oops! and the fatty funny guy in HANGOVER ). One does’t have to be fat and ugly to be funny, which is true now!