6.3/10
106,967
310 user 230 critic

Funny People (2009)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 31 July 2009 (USA)
Trailer
44:49 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
When seasoned comedian George Simmons learns of his terminal, inoperable health condition, his desire to form a genuine friendship causes him to take a relatively green performer under his wing as his opening act.

Director:

Judd Apatow

Writer:

Judd Apatow
Reviews
Popularity
3,373 ( 591)
3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Big Daddy (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A lazy law school grad adopts a kid to impress his girlfriend, but everything doesn't go as planned and he becomes the unlikely foster father.

Director: Dennis Dugan
Stars: Adam Sandler, Joey Lauren Adams, Jon Stewart
Knocked Up (2007)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

For fun-loving party animal Ben Stone, the last thing he ever expected was for his one-night stand to show up on his doorstep eight weeks later to tell him she's pregnant with his child.

Director: Judd Apatow
Stars: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two straight, single Brooklyn firefighters pretend to be a gay couple in order to receive domestic partner benefits.

Director: Dennis Dugan
Stars: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jessica Biel
Comedy | Crime | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Prison inmates form a football team to challenge the prison guards.

Director: Peter Segal
Stars: Adam Sandler, Burt Reynolds, Chris Rock
Mr. Deeds (2002)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A sweet-natured, small-town guy inherits a controlling stake in a media conglomerate and begins to do business his way.

Director: Steven Brill
Stars: Adam Sandler, Winona Ryder, John Turturro
This Is 40 (2012)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Pete and Debbie are both about to turn 40, their kids hate each other, both of their businesses are failing, they're on the verge of losing their house, and their relationship is threatening to fall apart.

Director: Judd Apatow
Stars: Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Maude Apatow
Click (2006)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A workaholic architect finds a universal remote that allows him to fast-forward and rewind to different parts of his life. Complications arise when the remote starts to overrule his choices.

Director: Frank Coraci
Stars: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Christopher Walken
Reign Over Me (2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A man who lost his family in the September 11 attack on New York City runs into his old college roommate. Rekindling the friendship is the one thing that appears able to help the man recover from his grief.

Director: Mike Binder
Stars: Adam Sandler, Don Cheadle, Jada Pinkett Smith
Billy Madison (1995)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In order to inherit his fed up father's hotel empire, an immature and lazy man must repeat grades 1-12 all over again.

Director: Tamra Davis
Stars: Adam Sandler, Darren McGavin, Bridgette Wilson-Sampras
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Dave Buznik is a businessman who is wrongly sentenced to an anger management program, where he meets an aggressive instructor.

Director: Peter Segal
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler, Marisa Tomei
Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Robbie, a singer, and Julia, a waitress, are both engaged, but to the wrong people. Fortune intervenes to help them discover each other.

Director: Frank Coraci
Stars: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Christine Taylor
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 ... Rod Man
Wayne Federman ... Comedy & Magic Manager
Edit

Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

George Simmons was prepared to die, but then a funny thing happened.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and crude sexual humor throughout, and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 July 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Judd Apatow/Adam Sandler Project See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,657,780, 2 August 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$51,855,045, 17 September 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$71,585,235, 17 September 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (unrated)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This features Eminem's first acting performance in a film since 8 Mile (2002). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

George Simmons: I can give you my fax number and my e-mail. What's your e-mail?
Ira Wright: My e-mail? It's... uh... irasexira@yahoo.com.
George Simmons: Uh, Wow. I'm just... I'm starting to reconsider asking you.
Ira Wright: Don't do that. It's from high school. It was funny then.
George Simmons: Yeah, you should change it.
Ira Wright: It's, like, 13 years old. Okay, I will.
George Simmons: I mean change it now.
Ira Wright: Okay, I'll change it, I'll change it ASAP.
George Simmons: Okay, don't say "ASAP," either. And don't say "I'm chilling" or "It's all good" or any of that stuff.
Ira Wright: Okay, I don't. I don't chill anyway, ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Judd Apatow's daughter's cover of Memory is played during the credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Pixels (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

I Will Be Here for You
Written by Richard Page, Steve George, John Lang
Performed by Al Jarreau
Courtesy of Rhino Entertainment Company
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
"Funny People" not great, but fascinating and complex
16 July 2009 | by leaning_tripodSee all my reviews

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.


211 of 315 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 310 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed