Thursday, September 3, 2009

There is funny “haha” and then there is….hmmm


Funny People 2009
Directed by Judd Apatow


Funny people is yet another movie made by the Judd Apatow stoner comedy franchise, fusing cock jokes with life lessons. Movies like Funny People are like those dance movies, you appreciate them trying to include a plot, but really you just came to watch amazing choreographed dance sequences. You expect offensive ‘TMI’ jokes and cameo appearances from your favorite young up and coming comedians. However, Apatow always blurs the lines of comedy and drama seamlessly, catering to multiple audiences. Funny People, unlike previous Apatow movies, is more drama and less stoner with an all star funny cast of comedians like Seth Rogan, Adam Sandler, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, and Aziz Ansari. It’s a film about a successful self-involved stand up comedian who has a near death experience that makes him reevaluate his life. Although I enjoyed the sour sweet ending, the premise of the movie seemed a bit contrived and unrealistic. The best parts of the movie are the interactions between the roommates, a group of up and coming struggling comedians. Not only because they are hilarious, but I have a huge respect for the struggling career of a beginning artist.

The more I thought about this movie the more I realized how many movies like this are being made. It’s fascinating how the movie studios catch on to a certain genres for a few years because they discover a specific formula that will have blockbuster success. I saw an interview with Seth Rogan and he said that he makes movies he thinks his friends would like to see, not movies studios want to make. Seth Rogan’s friends I’m assuming consist of single white males from the ages of 20 – 50 who sit around, smoke pot, play video games and talk about sex. The studio executives are not too much different. That being said, it obviously easier for Judd Apatow to get a movie made then lets say a women who wants to tell her own story from a different point of view. That’s not to say that other films made by women or people of color don’t get made, it’s just a much smaller amount. The people in a position of power always seem to be rich white men. I know, such a cliché statement, right? That being said, a true artist holds their own cards by staying true to their artistic voice and doesn’t allow studio executives, or anyone else to stand in their way. A time will come that the industry will find a new genre and I’m optimistic that more untold stories will have their moment on the big screen.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting commentary and smart analysis. I'm interested to know your take on Tyler Perry's new flick. As he is a person of color getting many movies made and making great money, but this is yet another example of your money making formula getting churned over and over. I wish he would Perry would use some of his power to make some interesting films with more substantive characters, instead of the caricatures he continues to portray.

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