July 31, 2009

Thoughts on Funny People?

Since we all know that I loved it, it's only fair that you tell us here at The Awards Circuit what you thought of Judd Apatow's latest.
Will Adam Sandler be a threat for a Best Actor nomination? Will the film, its writing, or its direction, make a play for a nod? Did you even like it? Is it Apatow's best? Worst?
-Let us know!


  1. Just to start things off, I've talked to about 20 people so far who have seen it, between friends, colleagues, and readers, and the thoughts are all over the place, though only one person characterized their thoughts as being "negative" on the film...about a third had some thinking that it could have mild oscar potential, though no one mentioned best pic except for me...

    Overall it seems to be a film that plays differently to everyone, so it's definitely going to be interesting to hear reactions.

  2. Saw it this afternoon. Here are a few thoughts:

    1) Great performance from Sandler. However, it wasn't life-changing or award-worthy (outside a Globe nom). He was capable of performing well...and did.
    2) Rogen struggled in the second-half of the movie to entertain. He's not nearly as likable as his character in Knocked Up, which is okay.
    3) Mann's role is good, but cliched. How? She too easily lets us know each upcoming action and move. Not good.
    4) Bana is a bit part, but funny.
    5) The soundtrack is the best part of the film.
    6) James Taylor is the man. Yeah, he has a cameo (of sorts).

    It isn't the true ensemble 40-Year Old Virgin or Knocked Up was, so that makes it very different. The trailer also gave away the entire first-half of the movie. The ending isn't too predictable, but it also is a little easy.

    It's an okay date movie, but only for couples comfortable with each other. So many co*ck and di*k jokes might hurt a first or second date honestly (or maybe it'll help it, wink wink).

    I'd rate it 3 stars out of 4, leaning towards 3 1/2. I didn't laugh nearly as much as I did with Apatow's first two, but I liked it.

    It's definitely worth seeing.

    How would I have improved it?

    I would've had more Jonah Hill/Jason Schwartzmen, gone a little further with Rogen's interesting "love"-angle, and the movie could've been cut by 30 minutes easily.

    I also think Apatow's daughters, while very cute and engaging in Knocked Up, were relatively useless altogether (outside of one pivotal scene, see: Cats).

    All I got.

  3. Let's please not speak about this as Best Picture candidate either, 10 movies or not.

    Please don't try and make that case.

  4. all I'll say is that if The Reader can crack a top 5, this has a shot with 10, especially with them "looking" for comedy...

  5. I'm going to have to agree with Joey on this one. I think it will undoubtedly get nominated for Best Picture, but it has no shot of winning, simply because, I feel there will be better recieved movies coming out this year.

    Now on to what I thought about the film. I think it was nearly a perfect film, with only small things I would have changed. The Sandler-Rogen dynamic was brilliant, and well acted throughout. The stand-up was surprisingly terrific(I didn't know that Rogen could do stand-up as well as he did), and Hill, Schwartzman, Bana, and Eminem were terrific in their "not-going-to-be-nominated-but-thanks-for-playing" roles. I felt that Leslie Mann gave a terrific performance, even though I have to agree that the character was written very predictably, but she made the performance fantastic.

    So, here's what I think will happen with the film come awards time.
    1. Best Picture (nomination)
    2. Best Actor (contender)
    3. Best Supporting Actor (possible nomination)
    4. Best Supporting Actress (possible nomination)
    5. Best Original Screenplay (contender)

  6. No fucking way. I read the script, and liked it, but seriously, have you seen the reviews?!? This film will be nominated for best picture around the same times pigs fly over a frozen hell. I'm speaking as a huge Apatow fan. But no awards for this one. Golden Globe nearly guarenteed for best comedy performance, but honestly, who cares? Its only real awards chance was the script, which critics seem to find the weakest aspect. The July release doesn't help it either.

    It is what it is, which may be great, but absolutely positively no shot at a best picture nom whatsoever.

  7. Reviews don't always mean too much, ala The Reader or Benjamin Button, for example...precursors will make or break this, just like any other film

  8. With a field of ten I think this film definitely has a chance for a best picture nomination. I was very impressed by Sandler's performance, he hasn't done this strong since 'Punch-Drunk Love' in my opinion; however, if it were to get the nomination, I do not see it having much of a chance to win. In this case the nomination will be it's reward.

  9. I don't see it getting a nomination, and I'm not saying that just because I didn't like the film myself. Of course, there are times when average-reviewed films make it in (like "The Reader" and "Chocolat") but what they usually have in common is that big back-up. Those specifically have Weinstein behind them. "Benjamin Button" (another film I did not like) had slightly positive reviews, but it was something the Academy is known to go for, and its load of technical nods helped it out as well. What does "Funny People" really have going for it to push it in even with its mediocre reviews?

    "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up" both recieved great reviews (especially for a comedy) and neither one even accomplished getting screenplay nods many who hated the movie even thought they deserved. Will they really recognize "Funny People" for the screenplay nod, let alone the Best Picture prize?

    The film is too laid-back for the Academy's taste and really, what does it have going for it that would make Oscar take notice? Of course there are some who are liking it, but it's honestly not the Oscars cup of tea.

    Even James L. Brooks' films that got in had great reviews too, and the one of his that didn't ("Spanglish", ironically also starring Sandler) failed to even get attention. Of course it had some good performances, but what did it have outside of the similiar reviews "Funny People" is getting?

  10. Fair points, but as I said, it's all about the precursors, much like every other film from The Lovely Bones to Orphan...

  11. An Oscar bait film does not need great reviews as much as comedies and films that AMPAS usually don't go for do. Of course it's all about precursors, but when there are none to go by you have to be logical. 10 nominees does not mean just ANYTHING can get in. Plus, I don't think the film will have many passionate fans. Not that many people love it now.

  12. I can't believe someone posted about about this being a 'lock' for Best Picture nom, 10 or not.

    And then they claim Seth Rogen, I assume, for Best Supporting Actor.

    It's been a good debate though.

    Although when bringing up The Reader, you must not discount three things:
    1) The Director's prestige with the Academy
    2) Kate Winslet's 2008
    3) The Holocaust!!!

  13. If I had to "grade it", I'd go solid B.

    I didn't want to come off as not liking it, but this is not a Best Picture nom.

    Even if the field is weak and now it's 10.