Saturday, August 15, 2009

On Funny Persons

Had to see Funny People after reading David Denby's review, and now have to question his unqualified praise.  Sandler's performance, to be sure, measures up (though, for me, the review robbed him of his menace) -- but the movie focuses too much on his character's bland ex-girlfriend and his eager beaver lackey (miscast as Seth Rogen--who not only "looks weird skinny" but sounds weird as "the nice guy").  Jason Schwartzman, too, disappoints -- dare I suggest it, a script problem?

Yet, even with the boring cinematography, Apatow is to be commended for finally making a film with an interesting female character--"Daisy," played by Aubrey Plaza: 
And I don't say "interesting" just because she's a brunette who wears glasses and red polka dots.  "Interesting" female characters are just... in a fundamental yet ineffable way, on par with their male counterparts.

For something called Funny People, this film is mostly about funny men.  Yet, in a world in which the humor of women is often belittled as "charming" or "cute," 

... this, I lament to say, is a step forward.

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