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Humorous Humans, Idiosyncratic Individuals, and Jokester John Q’s (ie. Funny People)

“Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die.”

— Mel Brooks

I once wrote an academic paper about comedy.  My research both broadened and muddled my understanding to include defining comedy as: a rhetorical device (used in arguments to criticize your opponents view), a cognitive riddle (where the ‘answer’ reveals an unexpected twist), an involuntary response in social situations (to attract potential mates and to share relief that danger has passed), a form of mass hysteria (such as the 1962 laughter epidemic where a schoolgirl joke resulted in months of continuous laughter across Tanzania), and as Mel Brooks implies: schadenfreude.  However in defining comedy there is only one capital T truth: it’s funny if it makes you laugh.  And since comedy is in the eye of the beholder, let us behold some comedy as we talk about Funny People (Judd Apatow’s newest dramady).

funny_people_movie_poster

“Apatow is on the right track. In moving his adolescent male comedies into more adult realms, the humor sharpens and characters deepen.” The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

Sharpening humor was an early survival instinct for the Wit tribe from Repartee.  NOT.

A schadenfreude to the nuts!

A schadenfreude to the nuts!

“Judd Apatow may be the first filmmaker to jeopardize his career through excessive niceness.” Dana Stevens Slate

What a jerk.  But neither of those reviews do much to sell or mock the movie.  What quote would we expect to see on the future DVD box?

“…the funniest movie of the year.” Cole Smithey ColeSmithey.com

Nice.

Not nice.

Not nice.

“Apatow’s whiny characters pitch audiences into a vat of self-pity.” Armond White New York Press

Thank you Armond for giving another fair and upbeat account of an opening movie.  Also, thank for reminding me to include sarcasm in this discussion of humor.

“Funny People isn’t a bad movie, it’s an indifferent one. No funny person wants to hear that.” Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel

Would they rather hear that they’re bad?

This picture is funny and bad, yet I'm indifferent at the same time

This picture is funny and bad, yet I'm indifferent at the same time

“It just about compensates for its many indulgences with typically warm humour and a knockout lead performance from Adam Sandler which shows a deepening maturity in the actor that could land him awards attention.” Mike Goodridge Screen International

If you want an Oscar, you never go full baby.

If you want an Oscar, you never go full baby.

“Everything about this movie feels personal, genuine, authentic – like Apatow is laying his heart bare and inviting us in for a stroll in his soul.  The effect is nothing short of stunning. It is Judd Apatow’s masterpiece. His great American novel….With dick jokes. LOTS of dick jokes.” Massawyrm  Aintitcoolnews.com

I’m intimidated by the idea of taking a stroll through the soul of a dick joke.

Is it funny or tragic that including this picture will more than triple the number of hits to this blog?

Is it funny or tragic that including this picture (of Hannah Montana and the Jonas Brothers) will more than triple the number of hits to this blog?

“If you object to public offenses of decency, smut that reduces the oxygen in the brain or just plain lousy, amateurish filmmaking, it’s easy enough to avoid Funny People like the swine flu.” Rex Reed New York Observer

Yeah, but public offenses of decency can be really funny

Yeah, but public offenses of decency can be really funny

“Not exactly a movie about dying of laughter but close to it, Apatow’s pot luck mock morbid meditation on mortality, punchlines and male anatomy jokes, is strangely as much about the cutting off of life as castration anxiety issues.” Prairie Miller NewsBlaze

“Apatow has taken blisteringly personal material and filtered it through tropes and cliches borrowed from trite, mainstream factory-line cinema of another era. Judd Apatow the writer deserves a better director.” Karina Longworth Cinematical

Unlike his past efforts, Funny People didn’t earn unqualified praise from reviewers: Rotten TomatoesMetacritic.  However, as with all comedy (and film), the only way to know if you’ll like it is to go see it for yourself.

The driver must have wanted to see the sign for himself

The driver wanted to see the sign for himself

“The message that comes across is: We’re all screwed, and then we die. Ba-DUM.” Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

PDJ pauses for a rimshot

PDJ pauses for a rimshot

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3 Responses

  1. You like totally didn’t even have the best photo of the Jonas Bros!

  2. Shamless. And completely effective!

    And Armond needs a hug.

  3. I just saw it last night and I’m not sure what to think. I kind of think Apatow pulled a Lucas with the last half of the movie (the last 60 minutes should have been 15 minutes, and then we’d actually have a comedy-length movie). It was funny and Sandler was great (I don’t say that often), but it was lacking in some editorial flow. That and it was a little anti-climactic for all the penis jokes. (OH YEAH, I JUST DID THAT!)

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