July 28, 2009

Funny People (Who Know How To Act)

Anybody who can plot to destroy the galaxy and completely redefine their onscreen identity in one summer deserves just a little bit of praise. Eric Bana is that dude, fresh off his turn as the Romulan destroyer Nero in Star Trek, he returns to the screen, this time as an dangerous Aussie husband to the girl of Adam Sandler's dreams. His performance is hilarious, emotional, and the best part of the very good "Funny People."

By now everyone knows the story. Adam Sandler plays a comedian who's dying, and he hires struggling comic Seth Rogen to be his assistant. What does he assist with? Writing jokes, fixing TVs, and guiding him in his attempts to woo back his lost love Leslie Mann. The story here is well paced and for a two and a half hour film, it never once drags. But what else do you expect from Mr. Apatow?

Ah, the venerable Mr. Apatow, Chief Brah of bromance domain, leader of the comedy world, and the role model for every comedy inspired dreamer. From the kid on stage at summer camp to the dude burning j's writing in jokes in his parent basement they all wanna be him. Here Mr. Apatow goes someplace where he has only dabbled before: some very real emotions.

Losing your virginity, unplanned pregnancy all seem pretty minor in the face of death, aka the scary dude with the scythe knocking at your door. Unlike the other films (Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin) this one feels like a serious movie with jokes, as in, the other ones felt like comedies with serious scenes. So watching it I wonder, what kind of film does Mr. A (sounds cooler doesn't it) make from here. It's almost as if he's diluting an amazing story with dick jokes as some type of cushion for the audience and himself. With this film he proves that he can deliver the hard drama goods, now let's see him tackle a film about real people and issues, who may or may not be funny.

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