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    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
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Comedic cast evokes both laughter and consideration

‘Funny People’ is definitely one of those movies you need to sit down and think about once you leave the theater.

It seems to have that Apatow touch of blunt, crude and brilliant comedy that we’ve come to expect, but gives you a much different aftertaste.

In Judd Apatow’s third installment behind the helm as a director, we see a very different approach to his breed of comedy. In his previous films, ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin’ and ‘Knocked Up’, Apatow made us all laugh with hilarious jokes and easy to swallow plots, stories and issues. This time around, he attempted to tackle some very touchy subjects, such as life and death and make them funny. Did he succeed? Well, yes and no.

You can tell that Apatow put some serious thought into the writing of this film and wanted to portray something much more mature than in his prior work. He really wanted to allow the audience to escape into a world where life and death should be accepted as what they are, and find the humor within it. During an interview, he even claimed, ‘I’m trying to make a very serious movie that is twice as funny’hellip;’

Everything seemed to be set up for perfection. The story was genuine, the jokes were all present and even the technical aspects like camera work and lighting seemed to improve. But there was something missing that almost derailed the film at times. The biggest of these hiccups was Adam Sandler’s character, George Simmons.

I find Adam Sandler to be one of the most annoying funny men in the world. His films are terrible, he can’t act and he lacks a true sense of comedy spunk (if you’re a ‘Happy Gilmore’ fan, too bad). I understand he was attempting a more serious kind of comedy, like that of ‘Punch-Drunk Love’, and I appreciate the effort but the guy just can’t act. He constantly makes funny noises and voices throughout the movie that really take away from the almost organic, comedic atmosphere that the rest of the cast beautifully creates. It’s honestly people like Seth Rogan, Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzman that kept the movie not only turning, but saved that of Sandler’s poor performance.

The film also offers a few side stories that are truly hilarious. Schwartzman, who plays one of Rogan’s roommates, is a marginally successful actor who plays a role on a sitcom called, ‘Yo, Teach’, about a family friendly hip-hop high school. The one-liners it produced alone is worth the film’s admission price. Jonah Hill, who plays Rogan’s other roommate, is funnier than ever and should have another lead like that of ‘Superbad’. The real comedy in the movie comes from its stand-up moments where the film’s characters are performing in front of actual live audiences under their character aliases. There’s a bit Rogan does about bored, rich celebrities and what they do to fill the time that literally left me laughing for a good 30 seconds. Hill also shows some serious talent when he hits the mic. Not to mention the countless, yet all funny, celebrity cameos throughout the entire movie (watch for Eminem).

Though the film struggles in certain parts, you can’t deny that Apatow and the cast put some real time into this project. Although it could’ve been better, Apatow can call this guy his ‘transitional film’. You can tell that his directing skills have flourished, but his writing needs a bit more work. Don’t be fooled, he has a ton of potential and I wouldn’t be surprised if his next movie is a complete knockout. Though not his strongest film, by no means is he down and out. On the contrary, Apatow seems to be progressing into something much more than your average funny man. Grade: B Runtime: 146 Minutes Rating: R for language and crude sexual humor throughout, and some sexuality Writer/ Director: Judd Apatow Cast: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogan, Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman

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