Tracy Bennett
Josh Rottenberg
July 27, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Funny People

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
145 minutes
Wide Release Date
07/31/09
performer
Seth Rogen, Adam Sandler
director
Judd Apatow
author
Judd Apatow

We gave it a C-

Starring: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann
Written and Directed by: Judd Apatow
Release date: July 31

Apatow and Sandler go way, waaay back. The two shared an apartment as young, unknown stand-up comics and rose through the comedy ranks together. So with Sandler playing a comic-turned-movie star in Apatow’s latest film, you might expect a thinly disguised version of the real-life Sandler story. Not quite, says Apatow: ”The movie isn’t about Adam at all. But it is about [what might have happened to] us and other comedians if we had learned no lessons along the way and been generally insane.”

The film kicks off with Sandler’s character, George Simmons, plunging into an existential crisis after he’s diagnosed with a terminal disease. Rogen plays an up-and-coming comic who becomes Simmons’ unlikely confidant — a role that required Rogen to perform stand-up for the first time since he was a teenager. ”Luckily, my character isn’t supposed to be great,” says Rogen, laughing. ”That’s been the umbrella I’ve braved this storm with.” If the premise of Funny People sounds a tad more grown-up than Apatow’s previous films, The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, it is — although the serious themes are interlaced with generous helpings of raunch and profanity. ”It’s a hard movie to describe — it’s a lot of different kinds of movies in one,” says Apatow. ”It’s sort of a demented Tuesdays With Morrie.”

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