Judd Apatow writes and directs this comedy drama starring Adam Sandler as George Simmons, a famous comedian who finds out that he has an incurable blood disorder and less than a year to live. His subsequent desire to form a genuine bond with another human being causes George to proffer a hand up the career ladder to struggling newcomer Ira Wright (Seth Rogen), whom he takes under his wing as his assistant and opening act. Meanwhile, George also seeks reconciliation and closure in the central relationships of his life, in particular with his ex-wife Laura (Leslie Mann).
Funny People pulls off quite a feat: it examines the sources of comedy and manages to be knockout funny. Adam Sandler plays George Simmons, a successful comedian of Adam Sandler proportions who is diagnosed with a fatal blood disease. Faced with impending death, he recognizes that he has no friends and decides to make a best friend out of an aspiring young comedian named Ira (Seth Rogen, Knocked Up). This lopsided relationship gradually takes on aspects of true friendship as Ira forces George to try to reconnect with the people in his life, including his ex-girlfriend Laura (Leslie Mann, 17 Again). But forging real relationships conflicts with all the impulses that feed George’s comedy: can he truly re-create his life? Funny People has enough raw, no-inhibitions comedy to satisfy Sandler fans, but the core of the movie is far more complex and compelling--and significantly, Sandler rises to it. He, Rogen, and Mann all deliver superb performances, as does the supporting cast (including Jonah Hill, Superbad; Jason Schwartzman, Rushmore; and Eric Bana, Munich). Funny People fits into the ranks of such classics as Hannah and Her Sisters and Terms of Endearment: movies that blend sadness and joy into a vibrant picture of life. --Bret Fetzer
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