... but Judd Apatow's "Funny People" is a mis-fire from a director that I've grown to appreciate over the last few years. Over-long, over-wrought and completely devoid of the substantial honesty built between the characters in "Knocked Up", "Funny People" feels like a decent movie stretched to ponderous proportions. I've read alot lately about how this is the film where Apatow grows up, and I say that was "Knocked Up". The quotient of dick and fart jokes is still relatively high, but there was something quite moving about the car ride between Heigel and Rogen as they drive into an adult world where nothing will be the same. There was great humanity in the way Leslie Mann spouts out how old she feels after being denied entrance to a night club- and yes Mann is good here with my crush firmly intact, but the relationship between her and Adam Sandler doesn't reach the harmonious connection it strives for. And, where the interaction between Rogen, Hill and Segal appeared as lively and familiar banter between old friends, the Rogen, Hill, Schwartman combo feels mean and vapid in "Funny People".
Perhaps it's my strong aversion to Sandler when he attempts to tackle a "serious" role ("Punch Drunk Love" exempt since it's so bat-shit crazy), but I didn't feel anything for his George Simmons. The endless parade of self-indulgent cameos didn't help either. I'll stop now. Here's hoping Apatow bounces back and reigns in his excesses for the next comedy.