Adam Sandler used to be my comic hero. And director Judd Apatow and his favorite leading man Seth Rogen are among my current comedic heroes. So Funny People, which I watched on my red-eye flight from D.C. to Copenhagen Sunday night, is can't miss. Right?
Pretty much right. The crazy part is that this movie is more touching than funny. It's got a few laugh-out-loud moments, but most of it grooves right where Sandler has been at his surprising best in recent years (the drama-first productions Spanglish and Punch-Drunk Love).
Sandler plays a mega-famous comedian who learns he's dying of leukemia. He quickly goes from happy-go-lucky to depressed and hires young-nobody comic Rogen to help write his jokes. The plotline dealing with Sandler trying to win back his old girlfriend (a pretty serviceable Leslie Mann) is unnecessarily long, but otherwise, this movie is a winner. And the never-ending cameos are worth the price of a rental any day.
**** out of ***** stars