Funny People: DVD Review
Released by Universal Home Entertainment
Cast: Adam Sandler, Eric Bana, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill
Adam Sandler stars as comedian George Simmons, who has made his name from a series of lowbrow comedies and stand up (sounds familiar doesn't it?)
But despite the fame and fortune, he's not a happy man - and is alienated from his family and lacking friends.
One day, out of the blue, he's told by doctors that he has a rare form of leukaemia - and on learning this, he falls into a depression.
Ira Wright (Seth Rogen) is a budding stand up comedian who wants to quit his day job working at a deli and hit the big time on the comedy scene. Ira and George's paths cross at the comedy club - and Ira's quickly hired by George to help him write some material (although it's clearly a screen for getting someone into his life that he can share his depression with)
As Ira begins working for George, it becomes clear that Simmons has a lifetime of regret to deal with - from family rifts to his aching loss of what he believes to be his one true love - Laura (Leslie Mann)
And when doctors tell him he may have beaten the illness, Simmons realises he has a second chance - so what will he do with it?
Funny People is a film of two halves and at nearly 145 minutes, it is a little too long and meandering in its second half - and with an extended version of the film on the disc you've got to be in it for the long run. However, it's also incredibly impressive in places - and that's mainly due to Adam Sandler (and to a lesser extent Seth Rogen)
Both these actors manage to shake off their perceived personas - but Sandler in a relatively straight role also mocks his own on screen personality - the films Simmons has chosen to do are exactly the kind of films Sandler's made his career from.
But Funny People is a career defining role for Sandler - and with a second version of the film enclosed, it remains an intriguing look at the dramatic potential he has when he plays it straight - throw in some actually funny stand up from him and Funny People remains a slightly missed opportunity from Judd Apatow.
Extras: 2 versions of the film - one of which is extended, gag reel, commentary with Judd Apatow, Adam Sandler, and Seth Rogen give the package a decent if unspectacular element.