Comedy is always serious business, whether the joke is on the funnyman with the pie in the kisser or the woman trying, really trying, to fall for the schnook who didn’t use the condom. Funny People, the latest from Judd Apatow, the director of the hit comedies Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin and a prolific producer, is being pitched as a bid at gravity, earnestness, adulthood, whatever. It’s an angle that sounds as if it had been cooked up by a studio flack to explain how words like divorce and death got tangled in with all the penis (and thereabouts) jokes. But the only difference is that now, Judd Apatow also seems almost lethally serious about being Judd Apatow.
Which is kind of ironic, considering the Judd Apatow name has essentially become synonymous with a new style of comedy. While Apatow has only directed 3 films including Funny People, he has written and produced countless films such as Anchorman, Step Brothers, Talladega Nights, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Pineapple Express-each movie carrying a distinct comedic style known as Apatow comedy. The stories all have similar themes, man children trying to grow up, hot chicks liking geeky guys, hard-core bromance; essentially coming of age stories for adults.
So the question is does Funny People live up to the Apatow legacy? Honestly, like this movie, the answer is a conundrum. Continue reading