Dear Mr. Judd Apatow,
First off, I love your movies. Seriously, I’m a fan. Not the kind of fan who’ll be standing half-naked outside your window at 2 a.m. with a dozen roses and a marriage proposal, but I like to think I follow your work more than, say, the guy who sits at the bus stop all day picking his nose while staring at a bus schedule he never uses. The 40-Year-Old Virgin was pretty spectacular and Knocked Up hit me in all the right spots. Needless to say your third directorial outing, Funny People, was at the top of my most anticipated list all year long.
But then I watched the movie.
And, well, yeah – WTF happened to you? Don’t get me wrong, I kinda loved the premise heading in: A former stand-up comedian-turned-Hollywood’s hottest actor finds out he has a rare, life-threatening disease, and so he sets out on a quest to begin living (and loving) his life again. Adam Sandler was an inspired piece of casting, and it was cool to see all your regulars (Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Leslie Mann), but then somewhere around the half-hour mark (or the 300th d*ck joke – you know, this fetish is getting a little, um…uncomfortable) things began melting into this zombie-trance full of meaningless subplots and way too much dialogue. You became Judd Apatow trying to hard to be “Judd Apatow.” And while the endless amounts of viral marketing (fake posters, fake trailers, fake behind-the-scenes featurettes) were amusing, it soon became quite obvious that all this fake stuff hurt the finished film
An hour and a half in, and Seth Rogen is wandering around searching for something to do with his character. The love-that-got-away angle strangles anything interesting that’s left, to the point where even Sandler and Mann looked desperate for a believable plot point to swing in like Tarzan to the rescue. It hurt the movie, and it hurt me. Not the kind of hurt like you kicked me in the bread basket right after a massive Thanksgiving meal, but my heart whimpered a little when, upon exiting the theater, I tried searching for one (just one!) memorable scene and, well, I couldn’t find any. And it’s weird to say that about one of your films.
All that being said, I love you, man! You’ve redefined adult humor for a new generation, and you’ve helped discover a parade full of fresh, hilarious talent. The genre owes you more than one round of beers, and I’ll of course forgive this misstep like a puppy dog accidentally stepped on by its owner.
Hug it out?
Your 35,678th Biggest Fan