When seasoned comedian George Simmons learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship cause him to take a relatively green performer under his wing as his opening act.
Based on the true childhood experiences of Noah Baumbach and his brother, The Squid and the Whale tells the touching story of two young boys dealing with their parents' divorce in Brooklyn in the 1980s.
George is a very successful stand up comedian who learns that he has an untreatable blood disorder and is given less than a year to live. Ira is a struggling up-and-coming stand up comedian who works at a deli and has yet to figure out his onstage persona. One night, these two perform at the same club and George takes notice of Ira. George hires Ira to be his semi-personal assistant as well as his friend. Written by
"Watching the Wheels (Acoustic)"
Written by John Lennon
Performed by John Lennon
Courtesy of Yoko Ono Lennon
Under exclusive license to Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music See more »
Ira (Seth Rogen) is a struggling comic working at a sub shop. George (Adam Sandler) is a famous comedian and movie star who finds out that he's got a rare form of leukemia and won't live much longer, he's put on experimental medicine to try to combat the illness. This revelation rocks George's life. He's made tons of money and has plenty of people to suck up to him, but that just isn't enough. His world is falling down around him, all the mistakes he made have come back to haunt him. He tries to reconnect with the only girl he ever loved, Laura (Leslie Mann) and she doesn't want to talk to him until he tells her that he's sick. That plot line took up far too much of the movie.
George and Ira meet when George goes to one of the old comedy clubs he used to do stand up at and stands on stage without any material, talking about how he knows he's bombing when he can hear people in the audience cough. George ends up hiring Ira as his assistant and their odd friendship/work relationship begins. Ira has always been a big fan of George and is spellbound by the limos, private planes, and the women George has gotten so used to.
Their relationship is at sometimes interesting, I'm not sure where Judd Apatow (the director) meant to go with this picture, he seems to get a little bit of everything, not enough of the good and too much time spent on the bad. Ira likes one of his neighbors, Daisy "Aubrey Plaza" and that was a fun relationship that the movie really neglected. By the end, it felt very underdeveloped. Most of the dialog feels improvised and very clunky. Judd Apatow was trying to convey something here that he just couldn't in the end.
For what does work, this movie deserves a 6/10 rating. It's a dramedy, anyone looking for one or the other will likely be disappointed.
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