Funny People did not exactly get rave reviews when it came out but Josh and I went to see it anyway. The movie has actually stuck with me. My guess is the movie got panned because it wasn't what the reviews expected. Apatow is supposed to make funny films and this film although too long and probably could have been better edited is a little bit more grown up and real life.
The premise for the movie is about a comedian, played by Adam Sandler, who has moved way past the days of stand-up comedy and into the world of movies, finds out that he is seriously ill. He decides to return to his roots, stand-up comedy. A long the way he meets Seth Rogan, who is trying to make it on the comedy circuit. Sandler hires him to help write his stuff. Rogans character, who is probably around his early 20's gets the new world such as Twitter, My Space, Facebook, Craigs list, etc. Sandler, completely oblivious to it, does realize that he needs to connect with his audience on what is relevant today. That alone makes for an interesting topic of conversation.
But what is really thought provoking is how Sandler, for all his success, is so alone. Stardom puts people on a pedestal of awe but when you break it down, who are their friends, what do they have besides their success in any type of stardom. Apatow, who has his wife and kids play roles in Funny People, appears to have made his life a family business. That connection makes him real. His kids are probably test markets to understand the world that we live in today and he learns from that. He puts marriage above everything else, at least he conveys that in the movie.
There were plenty of one liners in the film that were quite funny but was interesting about the movie is what is stressed is how we need to connect with people more than anything else. No matter what life brings you in terms of success, if you are missing that connection with people who speak to you honestly, then you have nothing. Don't let life pass you by without having that connection or you will wake up one day and be by yourself. That is what Apatow was trying to get across.