Who's In It: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza
The Basics: Sandler is a former stand-up comic who's made a fortune in stupid movies where his head is digitally grafted onto mermaid and/or baby bodies. He's also got a rare form of leukemia (diagnosed early, with jokes, so you can relax because it's not one of those tender disease movies). Enter Rogen, his next assistant, joke writer, whipping boy and nurse. Together they move through L.A.'s comedy club scene, Rogen's down-market life as an extremely unsure aspiring comic, Sandler's wrecked personal life, experimental medical treatments and Sarah Silverman's bizarre female genitalia impersonations. If that doesn't sound like a conventional story that's because it's not. Go anyway. You'll laugh a lot, even when it stings.
What's The Deal: Judd Apatow's man-children are all post-child now, but still confused; how are they supposed to keep cracking each other up with rage-filled dick jokes and have genuinely satisfying lives at the same time? The answer is that it might not be possible and, even if you don't die from a mid-life illness, there might not be a happy ending. There might just be more comic misery that doesn't love company, just an audience. I just made it sound way darker than it is, but this is the most adult, sophisticated (even with all the penis references--and there are a LOT of them), smartly funny film Apatow's made yet.
How Long, Oh Lord? Two hours and twenty minutes, which means it's like all the other Apatow movies. It's not that he can't tell you a story in a shorter length of time, it's that he's having such a good time telling you multiple stories that he's convinced you're enjoying listening to them as much as he is delivering them. He lets his actors do what they want and you can tell how much he likes and trusts all of them. Depending on the quality and comfort of the chair your sitting in while watching it, you'll leave satisfied.
Dear Adam Sandler, I Would Like To Take This Opportunity To Apologize For At Least 50 Percent Of All The Mean Things I've Ever Written About You: I know you're not reading this, but you have made some of the worst films of the past 15 years. And even you know that's a fact. But I won't automatically assume from now on that every film you're in is going to be worthless. This one is so good and you're so bleakly funny that it's like they replaced you with an identical acting-bot. Always let Apatow direct you from now on, please. No one else. Just him.
Best Cameos: Eminem and James Taylor, as themselves. Not in the same scene, although that would have been great too.