Judd Apatow's Funny People is "a real movie," with depth, said Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times. Starring Adam Sandler as a famous comedian faced with a terminal illness, and Seth Rogen as the young up-and-comer he takes under his wing, this dramatic comedy is full of "carefully written dialogue and carefully placed supporting performances." And Sandler is great—his character "learns and changes during his ordeal, and we empathize" (watch the trailer for Funny People).
Funny People is "at the apex of Judd Apatow's ambitions," said Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel, but it's at "the outer limits of Adam Sandler's talent." The best scenes "are the one-upmanship duels among three friends," but too often the movie is "an overlong and rambling riff on stand-ups who struggle to 'make it' in movies or TV." This "isn't a bad movie," but "it's an indifferent one."
Judd Apatow "has a TV shark's fear of losing his audience and so refuses to challenge it," said Armond White in the New York Press. To make matters worse, Funny People reveals the director's "shallow view of impending death and redemption," and the film's "whiny characters pitch audiences into a vat of self-pity."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- How Harry Houdini escaped death
- Russia's giant spy ship was a high-tech disaster waiting to happen
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week