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Theatre Report: [FUNYP]

Posted by: emoticripple on Aug 03, 08:48

Showing: Sunday, 8/2, 6:50 p.m.

Location: Cinema DeLux Stonybrook, Louisville, KY

Crowd: ~75/400

Trailers: [DESME] Big reaction (from me, at least).

[CPLRT] A few laughes, nothing overwhelming.

[EXTRC] Big laughs; can't wait for this one.

[GAMER] This looks a lot better than I would have expected, but the trailers for TERM4 were also phenomenal, so I'm going to remind myself that this is essentially a video game action movie starring Gerard Butler and Ludacris and go back to not caring about it.

[WDSTK] OMGWTF LSCHR in a dress. Can I go ahead and pay them now?

Synopsis: ASAND plays an analogue of ASAND, an enormously successful comedian-turned-movie star; SROGE, JSCHW, and JHILL are young comedians trying to jump-start their careers; LMANN is ASAND's lost love. Grueling personal drama interspersed with stand-up and bad decisions.

Review: This is not the movie you think it is. JAPAT has assembled a terrific and terrifically likeable cast, and then propels through a serious of events and decisions tooled to encourage you not to like them. Playing on the old trope of the crying clown, [FUNYP] juxtaposes the work and public/stage personas of comedians and celebrities of all stripes against their natural inclinations toward betrayal, self-destruction and generally unsympathetic, decidedly un-funny behavior. Which is to say, they are much like me, you and everyone we know, just with more money and sharper writing.

FUNYP is a strong film that sticks to its guns, crafting the happiest endings it can manage for deeply flawed people. It does feel longish in places, no question, but I can't imagine what could or should be cut. This is the story Apatow wanted to tell, and he tells it all. You will not like it all, but will, I think, ultimately be glad you experienced it. No one in this film is as endearing as you will remember them from their other work; this is simply not that movie. However, I believe that everyone involved (with the exception of JSCHW, whom I love but who appeared to be in his own little movie wholly apart from everyone else) is turning in the best work they have done to date.

So, a talented director and a great cast take on an honest if not uplifting or necessarily "new" story, and everybody wins except the studio. The cameos are a hoot, and a great life-preserver for those treading water through the film's more dramatic passages. The music (also credited in part to JSCHW) is rich and atmospheric without being too showy which, I think, is the most apt description I can muster for the film as a whole. I liked and would recommend FUNYP; YMMV.

Overall grade: B.

Snacks: Smirnov and McDonald's.




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