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Are you a fan of Adam Sandler? How about Seth Rogen? Judd Apatow?

If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, check your assumptions at the door before watching Funny People.

Guys like Sandler and Apatow seem to have painted themselves into a corner in certain ways. People expect certain things from each: Lots of toilet humour, fart jokes, ridiculous situations, and so on. Most importantly people go to those movies expecting to forget their problems and just laugh. Funny People, despite its title, is not one of those movies. Remember when Sandler did Punch-Drunk Love, and people didn't get it? This isn't "out there" like Punch-Drunk was, but it's no feel-good comedy either.

Sandler is George Simmons, a successful comic and movie actor who is famous around the same level as Sandler himself. He's just been diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. Not knowing what to do with what time he may have left, and not having any real true friends or relationships, Ira (Seth Rogen) suddenly appears in his life.

Ira is a struggling stand-up comedian who lives with two roommates played by Jonah Hill (once again playing his "mean fat guy" character) and Jason Schwartzman. Schwartzman is a semi-successful actor who has the lead role on a terrible kiddie sitcom called "Yo Teach!" He uses this success to belittle Ira whenever he can, who is still living on a pull-out bed.

Simmons takes Ira under his wing, hiring him as a writer and assistant, and eventually and reluctantly befriending him. Things begin to go awry when a lonely Simmons finally contacts the only woman he ever loved, and cheated on (Leslie Mann), who is now married (to Clarke, played by an unusually hilarious Eric Bana) with two kids (Mann's actual kids).

The movie is loaded with twists and turns that you don't expect on first viewing. Its emotions are heartfelt and genuine. It is not easy to watch at times. Special mention must go out to Sandler, who once again has proven that dramatic acting is not out of his reach. Sandler is perhaps more successful this time than he was in Punch-Drunk Love, an underrated if misunderstood film. Bana gets a medal of honour as well for being plain hilarious. Underwhelming this time is Rogen, who basically just keeps doing what he's always done. He plays the nice guy, nerdy, awkward, but everybody likes him anyway. Other special mention goes to Schwartzman who you may not even recognize at first due to his Jonas Brothers haircut.

One of the things I found most entertaining were the celebrity cameos, and there were far too many to mention, and also quite a few that I didn't catch the first time. Simmons being a famous star also has famous friends, like Andy Dick and Norm McDonald. Eminem and Ray Romano have quite a funny exchange. Surprise cameos from James Taylor (playing live) and Tom from MySpace (what the hell is Tom's last name anyway?) were very entertaining.

Judd Apatow broke a lot of new ground here for himself, at least in the realm of the motion picture. The emotions contained herein are not too dissimilar from his run on Freaks & Geeks, but vastly different from Knocked Up or The 40 Year Old Virgin. Yes, there are dick and fart jokes, but they are there more to break the tension rather than provide a backbone of comedy.

I highly recommend Funny People, especially this two-disc edition with an extended cut, lots of deleted scenes, a good gag reel, and some vintage, real Sandler prank phone calls. The soundtrack is fantastic, featuring the afformentioned James Taylor, Neil Diamond, Wilco, John Lennon, and many other classics. No Eminem though!

If this movie sounds like it's for you, and you want to see Sandler do something other than dress up as Zohan, then get Funny People.
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on January 14, 2014
Adam Sandler... this guy makes the character quite likeable at first, but a plot point has him going back to what Adam Sandler usually does: retro-evolve his characters. Here, where the movie almost promises a different Sandler, we get the same annoying acting chops the guy can muster to try and keep his career alive and goes about as far as possible as Apatow's style of filmmaking, making it the longest, most boring and dull entry.

Sandler isn't the only problem here: Apatow's style allows for actors to improvise, and this means many moments could have been very different had Apatow stuck to his guns instead of letting the camera roll.

Special features are VERY satisfying, for some reason. Two disc set includes hours upon hours upon hours of featurettes, interviews, behind the scenes spots, trailers, music videos, etc.

At least, Apatow made "This is 40", which was a much better, smarter and more touching piece of filmmaking. As for "Funny People", the only funny thing is the title and a few moments, the rest is pretty screwed up, thanks to Sandler. If you're asking yourself if I liked anything Sandler ever did, my answer is YES: Punch Drunk Love. That one was perfectly cast to where Sandler's talent seemed to go.

If, like me, you do not like Sandler and still think about giving this movie a shot, do so, but you've been warned.. maybe you'll like it, I wish you do... but I didn't and henceforth, Sandler is written in red on my black list.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon May 13, 2011
Intelligent, funny, sad, real, with a terrific dramatic performance by Adam Sandler.

For a lot of it's length I thought it would be a truly great film, but some clunky, almost sit-com plot turns in the last 1/4, a little too much length, and not-quite-there supporting performances in key roles hold it back and keep it a very good movie, not a great one.

None-the-less, far better than the often cold response in got in most of the mainstream press.
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Adam Sadler plays an unlikable comedian, George Simmons, who finds out he may be terminal with AML and tries an experimental drug. He decides to do stand up again when he meets comedian wanna-be Ira Wright (Seth Rogen) attempting stand-up. Sadler is impressed by Ira and hires him to write jokes and to be his personal go-fer. Ira finds out about the illness and convinces George to tell his family and friends about it. George plays the death card to patch up relationships, then suddenly he isn't going to die anymore. George re-examines his life, but even at mid-life he is still an immature a-hole. Everyone has sex but Ira, which seems to be a sad joke.

I found the jokes and humor to be at best, lame. The language was crude and sexual. Brief nudity. Perhaps what is best about the movie is that it makes sit-coms look really lame. If you think a guy saying "tweet" over and over again, spinning around in a circle is funny, then this movie is for you.
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on July 11, 2013
Extremely funny with a somewhat serious main topic, but let's face it, when you pit the writing and direction of Judd Apatow with the comic genious of Seth Rogan and Adam Sandler and comedic timing of Leslie Mann. No chance of disappointment.
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on October 24, 2014
Very good movie.I didn't find it funny,it is actually more of a drama in my opinion.Adam Sandler does a great job in this-really shows that he's capable of serious acting.If it is clasdified as a comedy,it is very dark comedy in my opinion.
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on November 26, 2010
item was exactly as advertised and was at my door within a couple days! well done! I'll definitely buy from them again
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on July 17, 2010
One of the best surprises of 2009 is this beautifully written character study of comedians with subtle but realistic humour and original narrative. The Blu-ray transfer is gorgeous, which is very important because the producers have taken great lengths to photograph the film in a very cinematic way. This is not a typical script with predictable motivations and predictable story development, it has an original voice and at 2 and a half hours, it takes itself quite seriously. I don't give away plot points in my reviews, I just share key factors of the films' strengths, as per example the way it's filmed and the way the story is told. Funny People succeeds on all counts and at the same time is one of the most entertaining films you'll ever see! This is a journey worth taking in the world of movie-making and definitely Adam Sandler's best performance and the most interesting character he's ever played since the film SPANGLISH. Also a very juicy part for Eric Bana in a supporting role that he conveys with great energy and will be remembered for years.
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on January 5, 2016
awesome movie!!
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