Some Robert Plant from the soundtrack:
Ramblings: Funny People? Seriously Folks…
Final Proof: 2 Shots
You know how you go to the bar and meet this really cool girl (could be a guy, but, yeah…) and start talking to her and she’s kinda funny and kinda interesting and you catch yourself having a really nice time? She’s more than you expected, a little deeper than you thought and her story’s intriguing so you slowly settle into her like khalua in coffee? Until after a couple drinks and she starts talking about her ex and how she’s still hooked on him and do you think he still loves her and should she call him and what should she say when she does? She keeps talking and keeps talking and keeps talking and keeps talking and you realize she’s not so different than any other girl in the place and you start looking at your watch and try to think up a good excuse to bail without hurting her feelings? That’s the way it is with Funny People.
Funny People is, in fact, two movies. The first one is decent (three shots) but the second one is as flat as warm English beer (one shot). i’m guessing that Judd Apatow got power drunk on the successes of The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up and started wielding this power with all the deftness of a drunken German sloshing his stein at Oktoberfest. It’s like Stephen King: once he got famous, his publishers stopped editing his books and we got shafted with things like the uncut version of It (which is a huge thing to get shafted by).
The sad thing is, most of the actors turn in decent performances, especially Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen who get the chance to shrug off their clown costumes, but you don’t really notice this because your eyes are closed praying for the end of the film to put you out of your misery. Maybe what upsets me the most about Funny People is that Apatow should have shown a little restraint, and i hate the word ‘restraint’ even more than i hate ‘sobriety’.
Buzz Kills (Watch Out for Spoilers)
Sex: 1½ Shots
What they have here is pretty good, but the problem is there just isn’t enough of it.
The first glimpse we get is when George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is banging a MySpace groupie. She’s on top and we get a nice profile of her boobs as she slides up and down him. The actress is German-Jewish nubian Nydia McFadden (!?–isn’t that like ‘Jésus Müller’ or ‘Paddy Mimbabwé’?):
i mighta gone up to 2 Shots in the sex if it weren’t for all the titty blocking. ‘Titty Blocking’ is when an actress is topless but the director hides her boobs through different miss-directing techniques. For example, the second MySpace groupie is kinda hot but i can’t find her at imdb for this film, pro’lly because she was titty blocked and no one really cares who she was. At least the TB strategy used here (back of the chair while being boned from behind) was more original than the next one. With Laura (Leslie Mann), we get the ‘top of the sheet stapled to the upper chest’ ploy that’s been used in every movie since the discovery of nudity. On the other hand, i kinda get why Apatow put up with the sheet: Leslie Mann is his real life wife.
Leslie Mann has a great sense of timing and pulls off the role of George’s ex / current romantic partner, Laura, with grace and charm. But you don’t care about that. You just wanna see some pictures. Well, i became the Bar None tender because i aim to serve.
An honorable mention goes out to Aubrey Plaza. Not only does her name sound like a Starbuck’s location, she’s got a cute little voice and a pretty face on top of it all.
Surprisingly little drinking for a Judd Aptow film.
The scene that earns the half shot was the Thanksgiving party when George makes a toast with wine. It’s funny-ish and full of good sentiments, but there’s one moment of straight sincerity when Adam Sandler shines through the role while mentioning friends who have passed. It’s an oblique reference to two of Sandler’s close friends and Saturday Night Live cast-mates [a toast to Miss D for pointing this out ;-)]: 1) Chris Farley, who died of a heart attack brought on by a cocktail of coke and morphine in 1997 and 2) Phil Hartman who, just five months after Chris Farley’s funeral, was shot and killed by his Zoloft addled wife before she turned the gun on herself.
The speech is all the more touching considering it wasn’t in the script. i have a copy of the screenplay (i’ll shoot you the pdf file if you leave me your e-mail) and the reference to dead friends doesn’t exist–Sandler ad-libbed the whole thing.
Rock & Roll: 0 Shots
There’s a lot of ‘nice’ music, but you, me and the drunk passed out in the corner all know that there’s nothing ‘nice’ about rock and roll.
We do get the acoustic Plant i posted at the top (and are surely listening to right at this moment), but it’s not very R&R, is it?
James Taylor plays at the MySpace meeting. There is at least one song from each of the Beatle’s solo career but not one Beatles’ tune. Wilco plays a song called “Jesus, Etc.” but i don’t know who they are. Apatow’s 11-year-old, Maude Apatow, sings “Memories” from Cats (and George makes some funny cracks about it after watching the recording).
So much for the Rock.
Boring Technical Crap
Written & Directed by: Judd Apatow
Adam Sandler – George Simmons
Seth Rogen – Ira Wright
Leslie Mann – Laura
Aubrey Plaza – Daisy
Nydia McFadden – Mandy
One of the fun things about this movie were the cameos by actors appearing as themselves. A taste of these include:
- Ray Romano
- Paul Reiser
- Sarah Silverman (doing her vagina mouth)
- Eminem (who’s hilarious!)
If you must see it, leave after Laura congratulates George in his dressing room preceding his San Francisco show. Just close your eyes, imagine the credits, stand up and leave. If you’re not strong enough to walk out, know this: Eric Bana’s Australian accent is not worth the pain you will be inflicting upon yourself. Consider yourself warned.