A guide to funny people

Best to manage your expectations if you are to watch Judd Apatow’s Funny People.

Adam Sandler. Seth Rogen. Leslie Mann. Jonah Hill. Jason Schwartzman. With small roles played by Sarah Silverman, Ray Romano, Paul Reiser, etc. And oh, there’s Eric Bana – apparently he did comedy in Australia before making it big in Hollywood.

More than your usual number of comedians in one film. With an overpopulation of comic talent, it would only be natural to expect them to have a killing – moviegoers laughing out loud, tearing up, catching their breaths, and falling off their seats. If this were a comedy flick, that is.

If you’re expecting a bushy Steve Carell getting a chest wax kind of hilarity like in the earlier Apatow hit The 40-year Old Virgin, then this might leave you feeling short-changed. Or rather, sorely disappointed.

In its defense, I think the movie might have suffered from a case of mistaken identity. At 2-1/2 hours long, it  couldn’t have been a straight up comedy flick. It just couldn’t. Comedies running that long are not sustainable unless they’re genius good. After all, happiness is such a fleeting concept.

But should you choose to stick around, you’ll probably find out that Funny People can be interesting. More than the plot being driven by comedy, the plot is about the funny people driving the comedy instead. Judd Apatow feels a bit nostalgic and delivers an ode to the comedy scene. And so, the movie was not necessarily hilarious but humor was scattered here and there to set the tone. Whereas, the juice is somewhere behind the spotlight, the open mic, and the curtains where the lives of a few funny people by profession play out.

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