Monday, October 18, 2010

M-Net Sunday night movie: Funny People

The greatest compliment that one can give Funny People is that it's just as funny as Judd Apatow's most successful films ('The 40-Year-old-virgin' and 'Knocked up'). But unlike Judd's previous successes, Funny people has a much darker and chewy centre, resulting in a very grown-up movie that won't strike a cord with all of Apatow's fans. 

One gets the feeling through the very ambitious 2 hours and 15 minutes runtime that this movie was a true labour of love for Apatow. And while not every single moment is brilliance, the movie comes together beautifully, revealing a lot about the lives of people that have made it their jobs to keep others happy and entertained – with specific focus on the burden these entertainers carry, a burden their legion of adoring fans are completely ignorant of.

The second part of the movie does however feel a bit detached from the first, but in retrospect, contributes tremendously to the overall impact of this deep and surprisingly sombre comedy (verging on the edge of black comedy classification). Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen deliver their bromantic roles well, with Eric Bana stealing the limelight in the last part of the film (part due to extremely clever dialogue and part due to Bana's surprise role). An exceptionally diverse and experienced ensemble cast (and a few brilliant cameos) serves for the rest of the movie's best dry comedic moments.

Mainstream comedy lovers will like, but not love this movie - anyone that appreciates a daring concept and execution will however find a lot to fall in love with. Highly recommended.

Highlight: A special appearance by Eminem will leave you in stitches and stands as a testament to the impressive amount of small extra touches included to give the movie a sense of pertinence. 

Funny People daringly mocks it's own genre and more specifically, the exact type of slapstick its lead is most well-known for. Bravo. 

Ranking: 4 Meerkat Tails (Add half-a-tail if you've forgiven Sandler for atrocities like 'Little Nicky')