Sunday, August 2, 2009

Funny People

Spike Lee accused Quentin Taurantino of using the "N" word too many times in the movie Pulp Fiction but I am accusing Adam and Seth for using the word "cock" too many times. It is just ridiculous how many times they used it in this movie. Another title could have been "Dying Man" since half of it centers around some mysterious disease tearing in George Simmons's body who is Sandler's character name.

Seth Rogen is Ira Wright is a comic with potential. Simmons has a debilitating disease who screwed up a wonderful relationship and has alienated many of his friends and family. Ira steps in and is ecstatic about this opportunity, this is a step up from working in a bakery. It is a win win. Simmons still wants to work and maintain a schedule but he does not have the energy nor drive to write his own material. Simmons has also accumulated alot of material possessions that all of us would love but since he is a multi millionaire, he has these items any how. So Ira becomes his personal assistant and befriends him as well. They both seem to gain with this arrangement.

Ira learns what it is like to be a superstar hanging out with Simmons. Ira soon becomes entangled into Simmons's personal life. Simmons had a gorgeous wife named Laura played by the bleach blond Leslie Mann.

When Ira took this position, Simmons first wanted to hire Leo Koenig played by Jonah Hill and Ira. But Simmons called Ira's phone and Ira informed Simmons Leo had other things going and would probably not be interested. Later on, Leo finds out about this slight cover up and is upset. This leads to heated rivalry and a possible division between. Leo and Ira are roommates along with Jason Schwartzman who plays Mark Taylor Jackson. All three are trying to make it in the show business world and Mark has a head start. He plays a teacher in a dorky child's sitcom and is receiving some hefty paychecks because of it. He does not fail to let his roommates know about his modest success.

Sandler and Seth hog most of the spotlight in this film. The movie is stormed in the last half hour though by a surprising Eric Bana who plays Clarke. Clarke is Australian and is a sleezebag, he is married to Laura. After Simmons overcomes this grim reaping disease by sheer luck he wants to give this relationship a second chance. Despite Clark and Laura being married and having two daughters. This blows up in their faces and Ira detects this before it spins out of control. The dynamics here are certainly not going to be laid down by me since the movie is good but it is not The Departed or The International.

This movie, is almost like a love story between Ira and Simmons but neither are gay and Simmons knows he was in the wrong at the end. Ira probably should not have gone to the airport and he certainly should not have allowed himself to be sited by Clarke while he was rekindling his relationship with Laura. Simmons messed this relationship up he had with Laura and should have just moved on. Laura gave Simmons a window to intervene or approach her when she tells him that her husband is an adulterer. A serial one with woman overseas. Clarke is an overseas businessman who travels to China and Australia on a regular basis. Eric Bana is allowed to use his normal Australian accent in a full swing in this film.

Leo's career is given some light when he earns a small role in the same show that Mark is in. Leo is ofcourse happy and does not care about this spinning web that his old friend Ira finds himself tangled in. Obviously this causes further frustration with Ira. The climax of this movie is when Clarke, Ira, and Simmons are fighting each other in the front lawn of Clarke and Laura's beautiful home (though not as large as Simmon's ofcourse). Like I said before, Ira should have been present and offered some advice to Simmons but lying about buying some cigarettes and running off to the airport, not bright nor prudent. After Simmons is made to look pretty bad and his attempt to split the marriage fails, he and Ira return home in a tension filled atmosphere. Ira attempts to spread some virtueous advice to Simmons saying he will never be happy because his mental state is off kilter. Simmons rejects this and summarily fires Ira for seemingly making these events worse but Simmons is the one who was playing with fire.

I am not sure if there was ever a contract written up between them but if Ira did not grab some of those flat screen TV's, furniture, art, etc., he is a fool and blew that opportunity. Simmons did not want that stuff and made it quite clear and certainly wanted to separate himself from all this idle stuff.

Ira returns to the mall bakery to work. He jumps immediately back into the stand up comedy routine at the place called the Improv. Ira is funny and this ability is what attracts Simmons again. Simmons appears in Ira's bakery and wants to talk things over. They are both funny and can make this work. Professionally, they both can make an excellent team. In the movie, during a heated exchange, Simmons lights into Ira and says he can hire anyone to be a decent personal assistant. In other words, Ira is expendable. But not really and Simmons realizes this after a while, knowing Ira has comic talent and has the fire to produce funny material for both of them. Ira shares Seth Rogen's personality in some ways.

This movie begins with old clips that Adam Sandler and his buddies used to do to unsuspecting call center personnel. Sandler did this before SNL I am sure. Perhaps he still does.

I allocate this movie 3 stars.***

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