Near the end of his commentary track on the Blu-ray for his film Funny People, writer/director Judd Apatow says "This is the kind of movie you only get to make once." He's exactly right; he's spent most of the 2000s building up the kind of success and critical goodwill that allows someone to make a movie as sprawling, ambitious and indulgent as Funny People. Though opening to mixed reviews and weaker-than-usual (that is, weaker than the usual Sandler or Apatow film) box office, Funny People is a better movie than it got credit for. It's one of the few movies about stand-up that understands that world in a lot of ways: the competition, the way jokes are written and routines are slowly created, the way you'd kill for some stage time only to be bumped by someone who doesn't need (or deserve) it. It respects the past while embracing the present. It's funny, dark and moving. It's terrific.
Adam Sandler stars as George Simmons, a hugely famous comedian and movie star who's just been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. He enlists a hungry up-and-coming stand-up named Ira (a winning Seth Rogen) as his joke writer and assistant, and together the two navigate the L.A. comedy scene as George faces the end of his life. Then, just when he's made peace with his fate and tried to strike up a relationship with the girl that got away (Leslie Mann, Apatow's real-life wife), George finds out his condition has improved and he's not going to die after all. With a new lease on life, George sets out to make some changes and become a "new man" -- which isn't nearly as easy as he thinks.
If you missed Funny People in theaters, the Blu-ray offers a great opportunity to catch up with it. If you saw it and had mixed feelings about it, now's the time to give it another chance -- you can see it for the movie it is rather than the movie you were thinking it would be (which, given the marketing, is any number of things: hilarious new Adam Sandler comedy, typical Judd Apatow boys-will-be-boys movie, etc.). It's a long and sometimes challenging film, but it's worth the investment. Plus, the Blu-ray offers you the chance to lose yourself for a few days in the creative process and world of Funny People.
- Release Date: 11/24/09
- Running Time: 146 minutes (theatrical)/153 minutes (unrated)
- Rated R (for language and crude sexual humor throughout and some sexuality)
- 1.85:1 Widescreen/1080p
- Dolby Digital 5.1/DVS DD 2.0 (English), Dolby Digital 5.1 (Spanish), Dolby Digital 5.1 (French)
- English SDH, Spanish and French Subtitles
Blu-ray Bonus Features
- Commentary with Judd Apatow, Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen
- Deleted and Extended Scenes
- Alternate Scenes
- Two Line-O-Ramas
- Gag Reel
- "Funny People Diaries" Documentary
- "Judd's High School Radio Show" Documentary
- "Raaaaaandy!" Documentary with Aziz Ansari
- Music from Funny People (featuring James Taylor, Jon Brion, Adam Sandler and RZA)
- From the Archives (old stand-up footage featuring Judd Apatow on The Dennis Miller Show, Adam Sandler's first appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and Seth Rogen performing stand-up at age 13)
- "The Films of George Simmons" clips
- 1990 Prank Call with Adam Sandler
- "Yo Teach!" (featuring clips from the fictional TV show and behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the show)
- Adam Sandler and Judd Apatow on Charlie Rose in 2009
- Funny People Live One-Hour Stand-up Special
- U-Control Feature
- BD-Live Feature
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