Judd Apatow doesn't dispense entirely with his raunchy humor in Funny People, but his venture into more serious themes meets mixed success with critics. Most, however, love Adam Sandler as a gravely ill comedian confronting the emptiness of his life.
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: "Apatow scores by crafting the film equivalent of a stand-up routine that encompasses the joy, pain, anger, loneliness and aching doubt that go into making an audience laugh."
- Manohla Dargis, New York Times: "There’s something irritatingly self-satisfied about (it), which explains why, though it glances on the perils of fame, it mostly affirms its pleasures."
- Michael Sragow, Baltimore Sun: The movie has "a smattering of hearty laughs and a career-high performance from" Sandler.
- Joe Lozito, Big Picture Big Sound: The cast, including Apatow regular Seth Rogen, is "uniformly good" and the movie is "by turns bittersweet and raucously funny," but at a whopping two-and-a-half hours, it's also "one long, meandering mess."