Blu-ray Capsule Review: Funny People

Funny People

QUICK THOUGHTS: Tough, uncompromising and filled with uncomforting moments and borderline detestable characters, next to dealing with all the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Neanderthals the most intense debates I got into all summer were over Judd Apatow’s Funny People. Starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen, this dramatic jaunt into the lives and times of standup comedians made me laugh out loud while at the same time it broke my heart. Its poignant saga touched me quite deeply.

Apatow and company do not apologize for their characters’ shortcomings, painting a picture of creation, stardom, love and friendship that cuts right to the jugular. Just because Sandler’s George Simmons finds himself at Death’s doorstep doesn’t mean he’s going to change his narcissistic ways, and finding out if he will becomes one of the film’s many pleasures. Great supporting turns by Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman and Aubrey Plaza are the icing on this drama’s cake, while Apatow’s own children Maude and Iris steal scenes right out from underneath their superstar co-stars.

SUPPLEMENTS: This two-disc unrated collector’s edition DVD is packed with special features. Both the original 146-minute version of the film and the unnecessary 153-minuted unrated cut are included, while a jovial and informative (if sometimes a bit too off-topic and loudly obnoxious) audio commentary with Apatow, Sandler and Rogen can be played over either of them.

Also part of the set are two gag reels, a ton of deleted, extended and alternate scenes, a fantastic four-part behind-the-scenes documentary and an astonishingly unfunny episode of “Yo Teach…!” which also includes making-of footage of the fake sitcom. There is a fairly amusing look at George Simmons’ filmography, while the “Raaaaaaandy Documentary” featurette was I nice extra I enjoyed a lot more than I had anticipated. Finally, the set also includes hilarious footage of a young Sandler making some very real prank phone calls.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I love Funny People and I find that it has gotten even better over time. While not the jovial laugh-a-second jaunt the trailers made many believe it would be, this thought-provoking, sometimes sad and always fearlessly introspective drama is Judd Apatow’s best work yet. It’s definitely worthy of a rental, this two-disc set about as grand a standard definition presentation as any I could have hoped for.