‘Funny People’ short on laughs


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I really wish I could take back the $19 and nearly 3 hours I spent watching “Funny People” last night, oh, how I do.

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The movie barely drew quiet chuckles from the crowd, as my companion and I wondered when it would end.

I think I checked my cell phone five times in the last 20 minutes of the movie.

I was really looking forward to it, considering my affinity for writer/director Judd Apatow and stars Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill–and “Knocked Up” is one of my favorite movies.

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What killed this movie was star Adam Sandler. He’s a misfit in the dramedy genre–while his trademark obnoxious snark was out in full force, the audience was also expected to believe his character’s existential crisis while battling leukemia. It’s also hard to care about Sandler’s George, a selfish, womanizing stand-up comedian who longs to get back together with Laura (Leslie Mann), his ex whom he cheated on. Mann is an excellent actress, but she doesn’t have much to work with.

Part of the movie’s problem is that it’s also way too long, clocking in at nearly two and a half hours. The plot shifts from focusing on George’s disease to his relationship with Laura. That’s when the movie gets really boring, and not even a hunky Eric Bana, who plays Laura’s hubby, can save the dreadful scenes.

Perhaps if Apatow had enlisted a different actor than Sandler, or if he had cut an hour of the movie, or if he had focused on all-drama or all-comedy, “Funny People” may have been enjoyable. The way it is, I say don’t even bother renting it when it comes out on DVD.

Thankfully, my night wasn’t completely ruined, since we ate dinner at Grazie, a wine and pizza restaurant with three Valley locations.

The thin pizza was delish, the Italian-themed atmosphere is cute, and the wine list is extensive. The eatery also features a variety of salads and pastas, and my table raved about the Dolce Della Casa dessert, a calzone stuffed with bananas and chocolate.

3 thoughts on “‘Funny People’ short on laughs


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    amy on said:

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    While I agree the length was somewhat off-putting, I really enjoyed this movie. I didn’t mind Adam Sandler. Actually, I think it was nice to see someone different put against Rogen/Hill. Also I thought it was a unique look inside stand-up comedy — something I don’t feel often exposed to. Didn’t you like the supporting characters/celeb cameos -like Jason Schwartzman or Seth Rogen’s love interest? I found myself laughing a lot.


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    nicki on said:

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    Thanks for the comment, Amy! I did think the supporting actors and characters were humorous, but they just couldn’t save the dreadful second half of the movie. I do agree I liked the look into stand-up comedy, but a lot of the comics portrayed were sort of jerky! Maybe I just don’t like Sandler playing such a bad guy. 🙁

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