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Funny People
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Funny People (2009) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 103 | slideshow) Videos (see all 13)
Funny People -- 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.
Funny People -- Here's a clip from the movie Funny People.
Funny People -- Interview: Adam Sandler "On his love and need of doing stand-up"
Funny People -- When seasoned comedian George Simmons (Sandler) learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship inspires him to take a relatively green performer (Rogen) under his wing as his opening act.
Funny People -- Here's a clip from the movie Funny People.


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Down 21% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Judd Apatow (written by)
View company contact information for Funny People on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 July 2009 (USA) See more »
George Simmons was prepared to die, but then a funny thing happened.
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
2 nominations See more »
(1791 articles)
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User Reviews:
"Funny People" not great, but fascinating and complex See more (300 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Adam Sandler ... George Simmons

Seth Rogen ... Ira Wright

Leslie Mann ... Laura

Eric Bana ... Clarke

Jonah Hill ... Leo Koenig

Jason Schwartzman ... Mark Taylor Jackson

Aubrey Plaza ... Daisy Danby

Maude Apatow ... Mable

Iris Apatow ... Ingrid

RZA ... Chuck

Aziz Ansari ... Randy

Torsten Voges ... Dr. Lars

Allan Wasserman ... Dr. Stevens

Rod Man ... Himself

Wayne Federman ... Comedy & Magic Manager

Mike O'Connell ... MySpace Escort

James Taylor ... Himself

Nicole Parker ... Dawn

Nydia McFadden ... Mandy

Andy Dick ... Himself

Charles Fleischer ... Himself

Nicol Paone ... George's Sister

George Coe ... George's Dad

Budd Friedman ... Himself
Monty Hoffman ... Himself

Carol Leifer ... Herself

Paul Reiser ... Himself

Mark Schiff ... Himself

George Wallace ... Himself

Norm MacDonald ... Himself

Dave Attell ... Himself

Sarah Silverman ... Herself

Bryan Batt ... George's Agent

Maggie Siff ... Rachel

Eminem ... Himself

Ray Romano ... Himself

Jon Brion ... Himself - Jam Musician
Sebastian Steinberg ... Himself - Jam Musician
James Gadson ... Himself - Jam Musician

Arshad Aslam ... Yo Teach Cast Member

Bo Burnham ... Yo Teach Cast Member

Miki Ishikawa ... Yo Teach Cast Member (as Miki Michelle Ishikawa)

Kenny Copeland Jr. ... Yo Teach Cast Member
Calvin Sykes ... Yo Teach Cast Member

Ca'Shawn Sims ... Yo Teach Cast Member

Mandi Kreisher ... Yo Teach Cast Member

Phillip Andre Botello ... Yo Teach Cast Member

Carla Gallo ... Miss Pruitt on Yo Teach
Ernest Thomas ... Yo Teach Principal

Tonita Castro ... Bonita
Carlos Andrade ... Gardener

Steve Bannos ... Deli Manager

Justin Long ... Re-Do Guy

Lucas Dick ... College Guy with Camera

Tyler Spindel ... College Guy with Camera
Deamor Yi ... 8-Year-Old Girl Fan

Elaine Kao ... Mom with Camera

King Kedar ... Family with Camera
Andre Butler Jr. ... Family with Camera
Tanya Acker ... Family with Camera

Jarrett Grode ... Magician

Qiana Chase ... Chuck's Wife
Tom Anderson ... Himself - Myspace Founder

John Hartmann ... Private Jet Pilot
Dave Rath ... San Francisco Theatre Manager

Dan Harmon ... Paparazzi at Medical Center
Brandon Cournoyer ... Paparazzi at Medical Center

Kyle Kinane ... Paparazzi at Medical Center

Mark Cohen ... Emcee at Improv
Denise Meyerson ... Deli Customer

Joanie Marx ... Deli Customer

Adam J. Bernstein ... Hot Dog-Eating Champion's Son (as Adam Bernstein)

Da'Vone McDonald ... Hot Dog-Eating Co-Star (as Davone McDonald)

Orny Adams ... Himself
Al Lubel ... Himself

Jerry Minor ... Himself
Eleanor Zee ... George's Mom
Ben Meyerson ... George's Brother-In-Law

Sammy Jack ... George's Young Nephew
Kim Taylor ... Herself - James Taylor's Musician
Andrea Zonn ... Herself - James Taylor's Musician
Kate Markowitz ... Herself - James Taylor's Musician
Arnold McCuller ... Himself - James Taylor's Musician

Larry Goldings ... Himself - James Taylor's Musician
Luis Conte ... Himself - James Taylor's Musician
Russ Kunkel ... Himself - James Taylor's Musician

Jimmy Johnson ... Himself - James Taylor's Musician

Brad Grunberg ... Comedy & Magic Club Audience

Brian Lally ... Comedy & Magic Club Audience
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Don Abernathy ... Pedestrian (uncredited)
Leo Baligaya ... Airport Traveler (uncredited)

Matthew Black ... Comedy Club Patron (uncredited)
Brett Ryan Bonowicz ... Improv Audience Member (uncredited)
Michael Patrick Breen ... Comedy Club Goer (uncredited)
Jason Canning ... Comedy & Magic Club Audience (uncredited)
Jack Chevanty ... Patron (uncredited)

James Chiello ... Passenger (uncredited)
John Clerkin ... Traveler in S.F. Airport (uncredited)

Clark Coffey ... Fan (uncredited)
Zachary Culbertson ... Boyfriend of Tall Blonde at the Airport (uncredited)

Alex Dominguez ... Show room manager (uncredited)
Aaron Drake ... Comedy Club Patron (uncredited)
Ezra Edmond ... Largo Audience Member (uncredited)
Laivan Greene ... Yo Teach...! Cast Member #2 (uncredited)

Heather Howe ... Comedy Club Patron (uncredited)

Brandon Johnson ... Rapper (archive footage) (uncredited)

Stephen Bradley Jones ... Security Guard #1 (uncredited)
Mohammad Kavianpour ... Paparazzi (uncredited)

Mike Knox ... Audience member (uncredited)

Susan Krebs ... Mildred (uncredited)
Matt Landry ... Comedy & Magic Club Audience (uncredited)
Mark Lavell ... Airport Traveler (uncredited)

Jane Le ... Jane (uncredited)

Cameron Lee ... First Class Passenger (uncredited)

Ronnie Loaiza ... Comedy Club Goer (uncredited)

Carl Marino ... Traveler in SF Airport (uncredited)

Laura Mayes ... Comedy Club Patron (uncredited)
Elsa Morales Myers ... Corporate Party Attendee (uncredited)

Joti Nagra ... Traveling Passenger (uncredited)
Andrew J. Neis ... Theatregoer (uncredited)

Joe Nunez ... Attendant (uncredited)
Lizzie Partridge ... Comedy & Magic Club Audience (uncredited)

Montgomery Paulsen ... Man in Airport (uncredited)
David Alan Poe ... Sky Cap (uncredited)
Jeff Redlick ... Airport Traveler (uncredited)
Timothy Roberts ... Security Guard (uncredited)

Jeff Rosick ... Bus Boy (uncredited)

Kelli Shane ... Airport Traveler (uncredited)
Wilder Shaw ... Largo Audience Member (uncredited)
Matthew L. Sobel ... Comedy & Magic Club Audience (uncredited)

Christopher Sugarman ... Norwegian Traveler (uncredited)
Kerry Wing ... Airline Ticket Buyer (uncredited)
Jonathan Winnicki ... Comedy & Magic Club Audience (uncredited)
Nathan Wright ... MySpace Employee (uncredited)
Maria Zambrana ... Comedy Club Patron (uncredited)

Directed by
Judd Apatow 
Writing credits
Judd Apatow (written by)

Produced by
Judd Apatow .... producer
Andrew J. Cohen .... co-producer (as Andrew Jay Cohen)
Jack Giarraputo .... executive producer
Evan Goldberg .... executive producer
Lisa Goldberg .... associate producer (as Lisa Yadavaia)
Barry Mendel .... producer
Brendan O'Brien .... co-producer
Seth Rogen .... executive producer
Clayton Townsend .... producer
Original Music by
Michael Andrews 
Jason Schwartzman 
Cinematography by
Janusz Kaminski (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Craig Alpert 
Brent White 
Casting by
Allison Jones 
Production Design by
Jefferson Sage 
Art Direction by
James F. Truesdale 
Set Decoration by
Leslie A. Pope 
Costume Design by
Betsy Heimann 
Nancy Steiner 
Makeup Department
David Abbott .... additional makeup artist
Anita Brabec .... makeup artist
Cheryl Eckert .... hair stylist
Michelle Garbin .... makeup artist
Kimberly Greene .... makeup department head
Vickie Mynes .... key hair stylist
Ann Pala .... hair stylist: Mr. Sandler
Ann Pala .... makeup artist: Mr. Sandler
Gary J. Perticone .... additional hair stylist
Erin Wooldridge .... key makeup artist
Melissa A. Yonkey .... hair stylist department head (as Melissa Yonkey)
Production Management
Barrett J. Leigh .... production supervisor
Lisa Rodgers .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Keri Bruno .... second second assistant director
Imhotep Coleman .... dga trainee
Grace Liu .... additional second assistant director
Joe May .... additional second assistant director: day player
Matt Rebenkoff .... first assistant director
Frank Tignini .... additional second second assistant director (as Francesco Tignini)
Mark Trapenberg .... second assistant director
Art Department
Renee Lee Alito .... construction buyer
Russell R. Anderson .... leadman
Antonio Andraus .... set dresser
Tim Bowen .... set dresser
Amanda Bromberg .... set decorating coordinator
Tony Castagnola .... greens foreman
Aric Cheng .... set designer
Liz Chiz .... set decoration buyer
David B. Clark .... paint foreman
Brad Curry .... drapery foreman
Dave DeGaetano .... construction coordinator
Justin Elterman .... graphic designer
David Falconer .... head plasterer
J. Michael Glynn .... assistant property master
Bill 'Kauhane' Hoyt .... stand-by painter
Scott Huke .... set dresser
Ari Jacobs .... art department coordinator
Sean Mannion .... property master
Jefferson Murff .... set dresser
Cesar Orozco .... propmaker
Edward V. Pannozzo .... contruction estimator
Edward J. Protiva .... set dresser
Steven Samanen .... additional graphic designer
Bert Smith .... assistant property master
John Snow .... paint supervisor
Paul Sonski .... set designer
Hans Soto .... stand-by greens
Carl J. Stensel .... assistant art director (as Carl Stensel)
Jen Stirling .... art department assistant
Samuel J. Tell .... set decoration buyer
Phillip Thoman .... set dresser
Marcel Worch .... propmaker gang boss
Meg Hyatt Snow .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Sound Department
George H. Anderson .... supervising sound editor (as George Anderson)
Anne Couk .... assistant ADR editor
Jenna Dalla Riva .... foley recording assistant
Tammy Fearing .... adr supervisor
Shawn Harper .... sound utility
Larry Kemp .... dialogue editor
Larry Kemp .... sound editor
Goro Koyama .... foley artist
Andy Malcolm .... foley artist
Cindy Marty .... sound effects editor
James Matheny .... dialogue editor
Scott Millan .... sound re-recording mixer
David Parker .... sound re-recording mixer
John Pritchett .... sound mixer
David M. Roberts .... boom operator
Joe Schiff .... foley editor
Greg Steele .... adr mixer
Cherie Tamai .... first assistant sound editor
Drew Webster .... digital sound mix technician
Don White .... foley recording mixer
Greg Zimmerman .... adr recordist
Special Effects by
Donald Frazee .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Akemi Abe .... main titles
Ryan Beadle .... digital I/O
Ozzie Carmona .... digital compositor
Daniel Chuba .... visual effects executive producer
Robert Cribbett .... digital artist (as Robert Cribbitt)
Samuel M. Dabbs .... digital compositor
Jamie Dixon .... visual effects creative consultant
Jon Doyle .... digital compositor
Derick Dressel .... digital artist
Gilbert Gonzales .... digital compositor (as Gibert Gonzales)
Deborah Hiner .... digital artist
Shaina Holmes .... digital artist supervisor
Justin Jones .... visual effects supervisor (as Justin Other Jones)
Kelly Rae Kenan Green .... VFX production supervisor (as Kelly Rae Kenan)
Paulina Kuszta .... visual effects coordinator
Dan Levitan .... senior compositor
Isaac Lipstadt .... visual effects staff
Shira Mandel .... digital compositor
Rebecca Marie .... visual effects producer
Daniel Mellitz .... compositor: Hammerhead Productions
Joel Merritt .... digital artist
Aung Min .... digital artist
Fatima Mojaddidy .... pipeline supervisor: Hammerhead Productions
James Rees .... compositor
Manny Wong .... digital artist
Paul Eliopoulos .... stunt double: Adam Sandler
Gary Hymes .... stunt coordinator
Paul Lacovara .... stunt double: Eric Bana
Ed McDermott II .... precision driver coordinator
Scotty Richards .... precision driving coordinator (as Scott Richards)
Steve Rizzo .... stunt double: Seth Rogen
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael D. Alvarez .... additional second assistant camera
Fernando Barrios .... rigging grip
Jose F. Barrios .... rigging grip
Tracy Bennett .... still photographer
George Billinger III .... Steadicam operator
George Billinger III .... camera operator: "b" camera
Jeff Billings .... camera production assistant
Marek Bojsza .... lighting technician
Michael Bonewitz .... electrician
Doug Byers .... rigging electrician
A. Anthony Cappello .... first assistant camera
Mark Carlile .... lighting technician
R. Adam Chambers .... rigging electrician (as Adam Chambers)
Jason Cox .... set videographer
John Crimins .... lighting console programmer
Alfredo Denila .... set grip
Carlos DePalma .... rigging grip foreman
Sean Devine .... dolly grip: "b" camera
David Devlin .... lighting director
Scott Dropkin .... Remote Camera Technician: Sparrow Head
Mitch Dubin .... camera operator: "a" camera
Keith Dunkerley .... additional camera operator
Brent Egan .... second assistant camera
Kevin Fahey .... rigging grip best boy
Chris Freilich .... additional camera operator
Chris Freilich .... camera operator
Patrick George .... light board programmer
Renée George .... lighting console programmer (as Renee Kayon)
Renée George .... rigging technician (as Renee Kayon)
Charley Gilleran .... rigging key grip
Peter Graf .... stab-c technician
Seth Greenwald .... grip
Quinn Grove .... rigging grip
Matthew J. Hall .... film loader
Paul Hazard .... best boy rigging electric
Jay M. Huntoon .... video engineer
Peter Hutchison .... camera operator
Robert Ikeda .... grip
Alan Jacoby .... additional camera assistant
Loren Johnson .... lighting technician
Nicholas Kaat .... lighting technician
Yuka Kadono .... camera loader
Jim Kwiatkowski .... key grip
Eric Leach .... camera operator
John Mang .... dolly grip
Dan McMahon .... lighting technician
Josh Medak .... additional camera operator
Jon Newell .... rigging electrician
Earl Perque .... best boy grip
Mynor Priesing .... grip
Thoma Reavis .... electrician
Larry J. Richardson .... assistant chief lighting technician
Aaron Schuh .... film loader
Sophie Shellenberger .... rigging electrician
Gene Abel Soto .... grip (as Abel Soto)
Mark Spath .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Robert Sterry .... additional video assist
Monte Swann .... supervising video engineer
Mariana Sánchez de Antuñano .... additional first assistant camera
Joshua D. Thatcher .... additional moving light programmer
David Tolsky .... additional camera operator
Mike Visencio .... lighting technician
Casting Department
Claire Benjamin .... extras casting
Lauren Cokeley .... extras casting assistant
Elizabeth Dean .... casting manager
Ben Harris .... casting associate
Colleen Kenneavy .... extras casting: San Francisco
Peter Kousakis .... casting assistant
Peter John Kousakis .... casting assistant
Wendy Washbrook .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Karen Baird .... assistant costume designer
Leslie Brown .... costumer: Mr. Sandler
Mairi Chisholm .... costumer
Nicola Clegg .... costume buyer
Joe Diaz .... costumer
Lori Harris .... set costumer
Mathew Hooey .... costumer
Stacy Horn .... costume supervisor
Melody Koerber .... costumer
Damien Quinn .... set costumer
Carol Quiroz .... key costumer
Ivana Savic .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Shaun Aprahamian .... on-line editor
Alan Baumgarten .... additional editor
Mellissa Bretherton .... assistant editor
Jim Carretta .... assistant editor
Salvatore Catanzaro .... on-line editor
Terry Haggar .... color timer
Annie Johnson .... digital intermediate producer
Dave Lee .... colorist: dailies
Ray Neapolitan .... assistant editor
Colin Patton .... first assistant editor
Joe Pestana .... dailies assistant
Josh Salzberg .... apprentice editor
Valance Eisleben .... high definition editorial services (uncredited)
Emily Streetz .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Trini Alvarez .... remote recording engineer
Michael Andrews .... score producer
David Boucher .... scoring engineer
Christopher Frey .... Japanese music producer
Mitchell Froom .... score producer
Jimmy Johnson .... musician: bass
Jonathan Karp .... music editor
Jonathan Karp .... music supervisor
Stephen Kaye .... scoring engineer
Greg Koller .... remote recording engineer
Kathy Nelson .... executive in charge of music
Chuck Orozco .... remote recording engineer
Scott Peets .... remote recording engineer
Paul Rabjohns .... additional music editor
Gina Zimmitti .... music contractor
Transportation Department
Ryan Allen .... transportation
Vaughn Bladen .... driver
Mark Brown .... driver: production van
Denny Caira .... transportation coordinator
Kevin Caira .... driver
Karen K. Chang .... transportation dispatcher
Wallace Frick .... transportation captain
Chuck Martinez .... driver: cast
Brian Stackhouse .... driver
James Waitkus .... driver
Other crew
Jesse J. Adams .... researcher
Kimberly Aguirre .... payroll accountant
Natalie Alexander .... voices
David Arp .... production assistant
Nicole Basile .... payroll clerk
Theodore Bressman .... assistant: Mr. Goldberg
Danny B. Brown .... asset coordinator
Judith M. Brown .... studio teacher
Ericka Bryce .... production medic
Alyson Buoncristiani .... assistant: Mr. Apatow
Selena Carrillo .... production coordinator
Alexandre Chen .... adr loop group
Deborah Chung .... production assistant
Christopher Ciketic .... assistant accountant
Greg Cohen .... assistant: Mr. Apatow
Brandon Cournoyer .... production assistant
Brian Crimmins .... set production assistant
Ted M. Davila .... first assistant accountant
Stacy Dollar .... assistant: Mr. Apatow
J.D. Donaruma .... assistant: Mr. Sandler
Neal Dusedau .... assistant: Mr. Mendel
Marty Elfalan .... first assistant accountant
Leann Emmert .... key assistant location manager
Keriann Espersen .... production intern
Whitney Fromholtz .... assistant: Mr. Mendel
Kate Galbraith .... assistant production coordinator
Tara Guckeen .... production assistant
Justin Harrold .... key assistant location manager
Gregory D. Hemstreet .... production accountant
Callie Hersheway .... production secretary
Jake Kale .... production assistant
Alexander Katz .... stand-in: Jonah Hill (as Alex Katzeff)
Albertina Kelley .... second assistant accountant
Alex Kivlen .... key assistant location manager
Jason Kumalo .... key production assistant
Jason Kumalo .... key set production assistant
Paul Kwo .... adr voice group
Jun C. Lin .... key assistant location manager
Joyce Liu .... adr voice group
Michael C. Lund .... assistant: Mr. Apatow (as Mike Lund)
Larry Madrid .... dog trainer
Vicki Marsik .... set medic
Genevieve McCarty .... production assistant
David Midgen .... title producer
Naomi Motohashi .... key assistant location manager
Brian E. Murphy .... assistant: Mr. Giarraputo (as Brian Murphy)
Blake Nabavi .... office production assistant
Tony Oberstar .... production assistant
Stacy Parker .... travel coordinator
Harley Pasternak .... fitness trainer
Jennifer Perkins .... assistant: Mr. Sandler
Chelsea Peters .... assistant: Mr. Apatow
Ron Peters .... script coordinator
Cynthia Phillips .... post production accountant
Linda Pine .... adr voice artist
Cindy Pinzon .... production assistant
John Radcliff .... set production assistant (as Johnny Radcliff)
Shane Ralston .... stand-in: Adam Sandler
Anne Rapp .... script supervisor
Bobby Ravanshenas .... assistant: Seth Rogen
Matthew Riutta .... assistant location manager: San Francisco
Jared Rosen .... video/computer playback engineer
Tammy Sandler .... unit publicist
Rich Scurry .... title designer
Lindsay Seim .... utility stand-in
Jim Small .... assistant location manager
Alison R. Smith .... animal trainer
Marcus D. Spencer .... stand-in: Davon McDonald (as Big Spence)
Tabitha Spencer .... accounting clerk
Gregg Spiegelman .... set medic
Aya Tanimura .... assistant: Mr. Townsend
Jeremy Tate .... assistant: Mr. Giarraputo
Jacob M. Torres .... key assistant location manager
James Weaver .... assistant to Mr. Rogen
Boyd Wilson .... key location manager
Santiago Yniguez .... sparrow head technician
Andrew P. Alderete .... asset coordinator: Los Angeles (uncredited)
Jeffrey E. Kramer .... set production assistant: San Francisco (uncredited)
Daniel A. Parker .... assistant production coordinator (uncredited)
Paul Thomas Anderson .... thanks
James L. Brooks .... thanks
Jake Kasdan .... thanks
David Mirkin .... thanks
Fred Costa Pinto .... special thanks
Tamara Shad .... in loving memory of
Garry Shandling .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for language and crude sexual humor throughout, and some sexuality
146 min | 153 min (unrated version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:MA | Canada:18A (Alberta/British Columbia) | Canada:14A (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-13 | Germany:12 | Ireland:16 | Ireland:18 (blu-ray) | Ireland:15 (video rating) | Italy:T | Malaysia:18 | Mexico:B15 | New Zealand:R16 | Peru:14 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:M18 | South Korea:18 | Sweden:7 | Switzerland:14 (canton of Geneva) | Switzerland:14 (canton of Vaud) | UK:15 | UK:18 (blu-ray) | USA:R (certificate #45381)

Did You Know?

Director Trademark: [Judd Apatow] [family]Leslie Mann plays mother to her real-life daughters with Apatow: Maude Apatow and Iris Apatow, just as she did in Knocked Up (2007).See more »
Factual errors: The ending disclaimer states that no real persons are depicted, yet many people including Ray Romano and Sarah Silverman appear as themselves during the course of the movie and are identified by their real names.See more »
George Simmons:I'm surprised nothing happened with you and that girl.
Ira Wright:She told me she had a boyfriend.
George Simmons:She told me the same thing, when she was sucking my cock.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References "Two Drink Minimum" (1994)See more »
We (Early Take)See more »


How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What's the song in the beginning half of the trailer?
Is there an official website for "Funny People"?
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202 out of 295 people found the following review useful.
"Funny People" not great, but fascinating and complex, 16 July 2009
Author: leaning_tripod from Minneapolis, MN

I need to get my biggest criticism for "Funny People" out of the way here at the beginning: it is not the movie the marketing campaign would lead you to believe it is. While it is true of the ads that this film is more than just a comedy and that it contains some heavy themes involving a near-death experience, it would be more accurately described as a dark drama punctuated by some very funny lines. But I suppose that doesn't get people in to see the movie.

After all, the film stars Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen (who have wonderful rapport), among many other, uh, funny people, and is written and directed by Judd Apatow, the director of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up." Of course the trailers have been playing up this angle but, as my wife commented, that's like marketing "Schindler's List" as "From the director of 'E.T.' and 'Jaws'." It doesn't tell you much about the movie you are about to see.

This beef aside, what you will see is a very mature drama (yes, I said mature despite the rampant penis jokes) reminiscent of the best work of Hal Ashby and Cameron Crowe. Sandler proves once again that he is a fine actor, and his performance as successful movie star/comedian George Simmons is tonally similar to his fantastic work in "Punch-Drunk Love" and "Reign Over Me." A very isolated man made rich by a number of films that look like rejected Wayans Brothers ideas, George lives in a castle of a house, complete with an indoor and an outdoor pool. His only obvious human contact consists of photo ops with his fans, and the servants at home that he keeps at arm's length. Early on he is diagnosed with a rare blood disorder for which no clear treatment exists. Death on his doorstep, he begins to examine his life. He hates himself, but that he let so many important relationships go to waste is something he hates even more. It's time for a change.

Enter Ira Wright (played tenderly by a slimmed-down Rogen), a struggling stand-up who works at a deli counter and lives on a pull-out couch and in the shadow of his successful roommates, comic Leo (Jonah Hill) and sitcom star Mark (Jason Schwartzman, who also co- wrote the simple acoustic score with Michael Andrews). Ira and George cross paths at a comedy club where George performs a self-loathing monologue that generates almost no laughs. Ira follows his act, trashing George's apparent depression. In spite of this, George hires Ira to be his right hand man, as a joke writer when he decides to return to stand-up, and as a general errand boy. The dynamic of this new relationship is unclear to Ira, but it seems like a foot in the door—and it sure beats serving macaroni salad to soccer moms.

What follows is a long road to recovery, physically and emotionally. I say long, because the movie runs almost 2 ½ hours—a daunting running time for a comedy or a drama. Anyone who has enjoyed Apatow's work as a director knows that his films have become incrementally longer. At times, I wished he would take the advice from the character Alan Tudyk played in "Knocked Up," as Katherine Heigl's boss who instructs her to not necessarily lose weight, but to "make everything tighter." I wouldn't know what to tighten exactly, because there are many excellent scenes. No matter. I would rather sit through 2 ½ hours of this than the same length of loud, racist pummeling robots. I hope there are other moviegoers out there that share my sentiment.

In addition to the great work by Sandler and Rogen, we have Mrs. Apatow, Leslie Mann. She plays Laura with great vulnerability, the love of George's life, left behind years ago when he cheated on her. She has since married the Australian version of George, Clarke (a hilarious if underused Eric Bana). They have a big house and two beautiful and funny daughters played by Apatow's and Mann's real-life daughters Maude and Iris, who also played Mann's and Paul Rudd's daughters in "Knocked Up." George and Laura reenter each other's lives and try to pick up the pieces, much to the dismay of the reserved, more morally-centered Ira.

There is an awful lot of movie to cover, so I will stop there. The screenplay, while thoughtful, emotional and at times hilarious, follows a non-structure that would infuriate Robert McKee. There is no three-act structure. There is no classic antagonist. The unusual pacing allows the story to unfold more like life in that way. I'm curious to see how this movie will be received by audiences expecting a typical Apatow film. The thing I appreciated most about "Funny People" is that Apatow takes huge risks with the ambitious goal of "making a very serious movie with twice as many jokes" as his previous films. That he more often than not achieves his goals is a remarkable feat, and while "Funny People" isn't a great movie, it shows you a fascinating side of show business, and more importantly, it makes one believe that we can look forward to a wonderful and varied body of work from an original and, maybe someday, great filmmaker.

"Funny People"

Starring: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, many comedians as themselves. Director: Judd Apatow. Running Time: 140 Minutes. Rated: R for tons of crude language, and for sex and brief nudity.

Consensus: Expect a fascinating drama with fine acting and a few hearty laughs (if you can handle crude humor). Just don't expect the movie they show you parts of in the previews.

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Why do people hate on this so much? cwamne_h
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