Funny people is neither a straight drama nor a straight comedy but a clever mix of the two genres. Adam Sandler stars as George Simmons a successful star of kid friendly flicks with titles like Merman that made him a lot of money but failed to provide any happiness or loving relationships. Sandler who has a history of playing immature child men is perfectly cast as George; Sandler gives the performance of his career as the jaded George able to convey the vulnerability of finding out he is sick all the while building a friendship with his assistant Ira Wright (Seth Rogan). Gone are the stupid voices and one dimensional characters that Sandler is known for playing and in its place is a three dimensional man that you empathize and relate to. The role of George is not a character that Sandler would have been able to play had it not been for the parallels in the character of George and Sandler in real life both making a lot of money off of low brow comedies. Seth Rogan is very good as Ira the struggling comedian who lives with his two roommates and works at a deli while trying to make it big in the world of standup. Watching the relationship grow with George we get some genuinely funny and heartwarming scenes. When Ira flies to San Francisco with George for a standup gig and then hangs out with George as he tries to rekindle his relationship with Laura (Leslie Mann) we see Ira transition from star struck assistant to true friend.
The entire cast is great with some real funny moments from both Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzman as Ira’s roommates as well as from Eric Bana the Australian husband of Laura who loves “Footie”. I can’t stress it enough Sandler gives the performance of his career and Apatow delivers another quality film. Although the trailers deliver mixed messages on the type of film it is, Funny People is a serious movie that is seriously funny.