Funny People lasts a torturous 2 hours and 26 minutes and and most of the time doesn’t even know if it wants to be a drama or a comedy.

It is set in the world of American stand up.  George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is a comedy actor who is diagnosed with leukemia but then takes experimental drugs and makes a miraculous recovery . He shares the ups and downs of his illness with a budding comic Ira Wright  (Seth Logan) who he employs to write jokes for him and keep him company.

This relationship makes for a buddy movie of sorts. At one point Simmons tells Ira – “I have no close friends, you’re the closest friend I have and I don’t even like you”.  Ira tells George he’s the only person he’s met who has learned nothing from a near death experience.

The movie features a bunch of guys playing themselves who are probably well-known to an American audience but for a limey like me, I only knew Eminem and James Taylor.

The stand-up routines rely heavily on fart or cock jokes and are very lame. The script too often mistakes crudity for  ‘humour’ .

The high level self-indulgence extends to  director Judd Apatow casting his wife (Leslie Mann) and kids which drags the film out needlessly.   45 minutes shorter would have made for a much tighter movie but not any funnier or more dramatic.

What the movie tells us is no particularly mind blowing and can be summarised as follows:

  • Being a comedian is a serious business.
  • Getting rich and famous means you get laid a lot but fucks up your social life.

AMS rating (out of 10) –  3

Lame-o-meter rating – High.