Funny People (2009)

Funny People (2009) — First thing is first.  This is a drama.  It’s about comedians and therefore has a lot of humor in it, but the purpose of the film is to tell a dramatic story [okay, i shouldn’t presume about Judd Apatow’s purpose for making the film, but that’s how it seems to me].  As a drama it works, and it made me laugh.  Here’s the thing: the movie is way too damn long.  There are at least three points in the movie which would have made perfectly organic and fitting endings.  One comes about halfway through the movie.  There’s even a fade to black.  It’s hard to say that they should have ended the movie right there because some great stuff happens after that part (like Eric Bana’s vaguely douchey character [the only time this summer he doesn’t time travel]) but as the movie kept going I kept wondering when is this movie going to end?  There are way too many plotlines going.  There are so many moments, both dramatic and comedic, that work as moments but add nothing to the overall movie.  It’s hard to say what exactly should have been cut.  In fact it probably would have been better if they kept everything but used it in two separate movies.  Apatow could have made a movie about the older comic who mentors the younger comic.  He could have made another movie about the middle age guy who tries to get back the girl that got away (which may or may not be the right thing to do).  They would have worked as two movies (though the one about the comedians would have been better).  My favorite of the non-endings-that-could-have-been-endings happened about five to ten minutes before the real end of the movie (meaning that even if it did end there the movie would still be too long).  It would have ended the movie on such a down note that I would have been impressed by the cynicism.  For anyone who is actually going to see the movie or already did, I think I would have cut to black and rolled the credits right after Adam Sandler said “Comedy is for funny people.”

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