Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Just a few thoughts left out of my review of Judd Apatow's "Funny People", which can be found here.
I saw the film on Sunday night and spent pretty much all day Monday mulling it over in my mind. Coming out of the theater I knew I had enjoyed it thoroughly but over the next 24 hours I was in a pretty bummer mood.
The film is not exactly a comedy and not exactly a drama. It was not as dark as I had expected and there were more laughs than I anticipated. The performances were just so wonderful throughout. Sandler was the best he has been since "Punch Drunk Love" and Rogen turned in his greatest performance to date.
The back and forth between the two actors, whether it was jokes or the serious talk came off as natural. Both of the characters are so unhappy for their own reasons and Sandler's constant chop-busting of Rogen only inflames the friendship.
This is Rogen's film though. His melancholy is an undercurrent to his fascination with Sandler's character and his newfound success. He is also the only sympathetic character in a film full of supreme douche bags.
But it all works. This is one of the best films I have seen this year.
It comes highly recommended, just don't go in expecting "The 40 Year Old Virgin 2".
This is Apatow stepping into another level of filmmaking.
Another thing that has been getting to me is the critics who are jumping aboard the Heigl train of calling Apatow out for his inability to write strong female characters.
Why do these critics never bring up Catherine Keener's turn in "40"? She was absolutely wonderful and not a shrew, or a pushover or whatever.
Even Heigl in "Knocked Up" was not the character she painted herself to be after the fact. She is basically the one responsible character in the film, having a steady job and everything. Also, Rogen has gone on record saying she improv'd half her lines anyway, so where would the fault in her accusations lie anyway?
This is just something I needed to vent about.
Go see "Funny People" tonight. Do not let the running time scare you off, the film does not over stay its welcome.