Writer: Lai Swee WeiWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects:
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"Funny Man" takes an insider's look at the world of standup comics in Los Angeles, bringing in an honest yet long-winded story with a runtime almost similar to "The Lord Of The Rings", but thankfully not quite.
The movie opens up nicely to a few homemade videos Judd Apatow took of his former roommate, Adam Sandler making prank calls when they were both aspiring unknowns. Following that, it showed some of Sandler's early standup work which made a great progression to the life of his comedian character, George Simmons, who later finds out he doesn't have much time left to live due to a type of leukaemia disease.
The film showed an outstanding portrayal of the competitiveness amongst three roommates who want to make it big in the world of comedy: Mark (Jason Schwartzman, a younger looking version of Luke Wilson), the ladies man star of a lame TV comedy; Leo (Jonah Hill), a chubby and loud-mouthed performer and writer; and Ira (Seth Rogen), an aspiring standup whose career takes a turn when he starts writing material for George.
For the first hour and a half, it moves along well with behind-the-scenes look at the comedy club environment, how they randomly think of jokes for their standup scenes, and the way comics test themselves and each other. Later on, George receives positive medical news and we see random cameos from Paul Reiser, Sarah Silverman, Ray Romano and including a killer one from Eminem, who tells George he'd be better off dead than making more stupid movies.
It then leaves the comedy scene behind and shifts focus onto George's old flame Laura (Leslie Mann), a former starlet now married to an Australian husband, Clarke (Eric Bana), where they both have two daughters. Laura was the girl George lost by cheating on her. Thus, the love issue between the two eventually takes up the remaining half of the story and is dragged on way too long.
"Funny People" is a potentially smart comedy that quickly loses its way and becomes stalled in incoherent storytelling, lack of focus, an overly long run time, and despite some decent chuckles here and there, lack of humour.Cinema Online, 24 October 2009