Apatow's Funny People: Insightful, Smug, Too Long

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2009 7:40 AM CDT
Seth Rogen, left, and Aubrey Plaza are shown in a scene from "Funny People."   (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Tracy Bennett)
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(Newser) – 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."