Tag Archives: Adam Sandler

Funny People (2009, Judd Apatow), the unrated version

Funny People plays a little like Judd Apatow wrote two-thirds of something he really loved so he decided to keep going… adding another two-thirds. So he ended up with four-thirds of a movie and because he’s Judd Apatow, he got to make it without skinning it down. I don’t think I’d even call him on it, except he doesn’t close it. He needs at least another third (so five-thirds) to get Funny People to finish right.

I think, somewhere in that paragraph, I meant to say it’s mostly outstanding. I’d heard great things about it, but even so… it’s far better than I expected from Apatow’s other work. The first two-thirds—which basically closes with Eminem musing on the meaning of life—is sublime. The rest is more of what I expected, but still good. It’s Apatow reality—it looks like a promotional photo for a nice hotel, but with cursing and human struggle.

Adam Sandler’s great. I almost wonder if Apatow realized how great he’d be (sort of playing a riff on himself) because Seth Rogen ends up getting too much screen time. Rogen’s good, but not as good.

Jason Schwartzman and Eric Bana are both excellent. Leslie Mann’s all right, but the script doesn’t let her character be complex enough.

Jonah Hill’s starting to get annoying.

Amazing RZA cameo.

Apatow runs long with Funny People; it really felt like he realized he couldn’t stop until he made it sublime again.

But he didn’t.

2.5/4★★½

CREDITS

Written and directed by Judd Apatow; director of photography, Janusz Kaminski; edited by Craig Alpert and Brent White; music by Michael Andrews and Jason Schwartzman; production designer, Jefferson Sage; produced by Apatow, Barry Mendel and Clayton Townsend; released by Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures.

Starring Adam Sandler (George Simmons), Seth Rogen (Ira Wright), Leslie Mann (Laura), Eric Bana (Clarke), Jonah Hill (Leo Koenig), Jason Schwartzman (Mark Taylor Jackson), Aubrey Plaza (Daisy), Maude Apatow (Mable), Iris Apatow (Ingrid), RZA (Chuck), Aziz Ansari (Randy), Torsten Voges (Dr. Lars) and Allan Wasserman (Dr. Stevens).


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The Wedding Singer (1998, Frank Coraci)

I actually kind of like The Wedding Singer; it’s blandly inoffensive, has a solid 1980s soundtrack and kind of plays like how “Everybody Hates Chris” would have played if it had sucked instead of being the best sitcom since “Arrested Development.” On that subject, the problem with The Wedding Singer is it makes easy eighties jokes instead of reverential ones.

Anyway, it’s easily the worst directed film I’ve seen since… I’m trying to think, maybe She’s All That, which I saw a long, long time ago. Because Frank Coraci isn’t even a lousy director like Simon West is a bad director or whoever, he’s a bad director who seems to think he’s shooting for a lousy sitcom, something like that Kirk Cameron show the WB launched with.

Oddly, on the Kirk Cameron note, The Wedding Singer‘s “politics” are somewhat interesting. It’s very pro-marriage, and anti-materialistic, mocking yuppies at every opportunity.

I’ve only seen Drew Barrymore in one movie since The Wedding Singer came out (I saw it in the theater)–Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, oh, wait, I saw Ever After on DVD–but I wasn’t expecting her performance in this one to be so terrible. It’s completely incompetent. It’s like she’s reading audition lines for a Clorox commercial. Not a Snuggle commercial because the bear’s a better actor than her in this one.

Sandler’s bad too, since he seems to be doing an accent.

Allen Covert and Christine Taylor are both good. Steve Buscemi’s cameo is amazing.

1/4

CREDITS

Directed by Frank Coraci; written by Tim Herlihy; director of photography, Tim Suhrstedt; edited by Tom Lewis; music by Teddy Castellucci; production designer, Perry Andelin Blake; produced by Robert Simonds and Jack Giarraputo; released by New Line Cinema.

Starring Adam Sandler (Robbie), Drew Barrymore (Julia), Christine Taylor (Holly), Allen Covert (Sammy), Matthew Glave (Glenn), Ellen Albertini Dow (Rosie), Angela Featherstone (Linda), Alexis Arquette (George) with Steve Buscemi (Dave Veltri) and Jon Lovitz (Jimmie Moore).


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