Sunday, August 2, 2009

At least Sandler's good...

(Movie review)


Starring Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, Paul Reiser, Andy Dick and Eminem.
Directed by Judd Apatow.

There is a very, very good movie buried within here. I mean a moving, funny three-and-a-half star film just dying to come out, one which would garner Adam Sandler a Golden Globe nomination. I'm not kidding; it's his best performance to date. Some could sneer at that, considering they thought the Zohan was the apex of his stretching, but he also did Punch-Drunk Love and Spanglish and Reign Over Me, and Sandler has finally found a vehicle that lets him balance comedy and drama and be a real human being.

He plays George Simmons, a successful stand-up comic who has since become a multimillionaire icon, star of such movies as My Best Friend Is A Robot and Merman (like Splash, but with a guy). George has a sprawling palace of a house on the beach, posters of all his movies on the wall, and yet, he just learned he has cancer. And George realizes that he's all alone.

He hires a promising, struggling young comic named Ira Wright (Seth Rogen) to write some jokes for him as he takes his private jet from gig to gig. But even though George is dying, he doesn't really seem to learn much.

This movie's a reflection on just how unhappy many comedians are. No surprise there. My main two problems with this movie revolve around 1) a running time of nearly two-and-a-half hours, and 2) more male-organ jokes than any movie in cinematic history.

Judd Apatow did The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, and this movie had the potential to be his best movie to date, but he refuses to grow up. The film meanders and sags, and really there is such a thing as too many genitalia jokes.

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