Movie Reviews Funny People
Judd Apatow's third R-rated comedy, Funny People, is not your usual Judd Apatow R-rated comedy, many critics are pointing out. It concerns a stand-up comedian played by Adam Sandler who learns that he he has contracted a fatal blood disease. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times praises Sandler's "perceptive, sympathetic performance." He's not merely playing his usual "passive-aggressive simpleton," Ebert notes. "This other Sandler plays above and below that guy, and more deeply." Kyle Smith in the New York Post calls the movie "a rethink of All that Jazz with comedy instead of Broadway" and says that it "turns out to be one of the most absorbing films of the year." Sandler's performance, he adds, "is close to perfect." Michael Sragow in the Baltimore Sun praises Sandler for delivering "a career-high performance." But Manohla Dargis in the New York Times , however, argues that the film is basically too nice. "Nice can be murder on comedy and drama alike," she remarks, "adding parenthetically, "Comedy is a man in trouble, not a man at peace with himself." Sandler's character, she notes, "is effortlessly charmless, and in his performance you see the risky movie this might have been if Mr. Apatow had pushed harder." Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune takes a middle ground. " Funny People," he writes, "is 50 percent good and 50 percent close." Roger Moore sums up in the Orlando Sentinel " Funny People isn't a bad movie, it's an indifferent one. No funny person wants to hear that." And Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News concludes that it is very much a bad movie. The headline on his review reads, "Judd Apatow's funny People Bombs Like a Bad Stand-up Routine."