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Review: More 'Funny' than expected

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
July 31, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen enter the summer box office this weekend in "Funny People." It's director Judd Apatow's latest "R" rated comedy. Will you laugh? Yes. But is it what you expect going in? No.In "Funny People," Sandler plays a well-known comedy star dealing with a potentially deadly illness. He's also dealing with the fact he hasn't always been the nicest of guys. He hires a fledgling comedian, played by Rogen, to help him cope and to keep him company.

Rogen plays his role with all the awe and awkwardness of a young comedian coming up the ranks, on and off the stage.

Sandler gets to do a role where the character isn't always "on," and he's better because of it. This is a rich, multi-dimensional performance full of depth and shows how talented he can be given the right material.

In a supporting role both comedic and dramatic, Leslie Mann really delivers as the "ex." And Jason Schwartzman and Jonah Hill both get to have fun.

The movie also has a gentler side. The laughs are steady here -- not big belly laughs, just nice moments. The dialogue and the story both feel real, but if you're sensitive to language, please know you're going to hear a lot of F-words.

The look of the film is peppered with comedic touches, as you'll see in posters and pictures along the way. It illustrates to me that the people who made this movie appreciate the comedians who came before them.

I really enjoyed this movie and all of the performances. I also love catching all the celebrity cameos in the movie. They're mostly comedians, but there is one you might not expect -- Eminem. In the movie, the rap star picks a fight with Ray Romano.

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