Zack & Nick's Culture Cast

Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!

What Went Wrong?: Volume 3

Note: As I am still on vacation and posting from an Ipad, please once again excuse any bad grammar and/or typos.

Funny People (2009)


Until Funny People bombed in 2009, it had been awhile since Judd Apatow experienced any kind of big failure. Hot off of recent directorial hits The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up and with many recent producer hits under his belt, it seemed Apatow could do no wrong. The initial trailers seemed funny enough for Funny People and the idea of Sandler performing a dramatic role also sounded appealing. So what exactly went wrong?

The failure of this film has long fascinated me. I like this movie a lot and have written about it extensively, but I still have a difficult time pin-pointing exactly why Funny People failed. It may have been residual Apatow-factory burn-out. It may have been a bloated running time. It may have been the mixed-to-positive reviews (the first Apatow film to open to less than glowing critical evaluation). It may have even been the fact that the film opened against the Katherine Heigl movie The Ugly Truth, thus stealing away the female moviegoers. Whatever the reason, Funny People failed to live up to the lofty statuses of its predecessors. In a way, the Apatow-factory hasn’t been the same since. Sandler has gone back to making absolutely dreadful films, Rogen burnout continues, and Apatow himself still hasn’t released a follow-up film (though one is in the works).


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