R, 2 hrs. 16 min. Directed by: Judd Apatow. Release Date: Jul 31, 2009. DVD Release: Nov 29, 2009.
****REPOSTED FROM THE LATE LATE SHOW WITH NEW EDITS AND COMMENTS****
I'm still not sure if this was meant to be a comedy, a melodrama, or a dramedie. Occasionally funny, only slightly morbid, and a less-than-pleasing ending make for a bit of confusion regarding the filmmakers' true intentions.
Other than good story flow and a pretty exceptional serious role played by Adam Sandler, I have little positive to say about this. I thought that the parallels between Adam Sandler's real life and the life of his character were probably intentional, although anything's possible. The connection is why, I think, that Sandler did just a great job of portraying a stand-up comic who makes the big time. Because, well, he'd already done it. He knew what it was like. I don't know enough about Sandler to know if his personal life was impacted in the same fashion as his characters, but the similarities are enough for me to wonder if this is Adam Sandler's way of announcing he's suffering from terminal illness.
Sandler wasn't the only really good performance. I also liked watching Leslie Mann and Eric Bana go through their parts. Jonah Hill was funny, but in the same way that Jonah Hill has been funny since Accepted, so I struggle to give him too many kudos. Again, I struggle to enjoy Seth Rogen... and between this and Observe and Report I think that Family Guy is right: Rogen's famous not for being funny, but because somehow the world got the bad information that he IS funny.