At the Movies With Peter Travers: “Funny People” and “The Cove”
After a weak week of new movies, At the Movies with Peter Travers is just giddy about Judd Apatow’s third film Funny People, starring Adam Sandler (Apatow’s former roommate when the pair were struggling stand-ups),Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann and the rest of the Apatow Universe of actors. Apatow continues his penchant for blending comedy with emotion that he established with The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up, telling the story of a successful comedic actor who looks to change his life after a health scare.
(Freaks, Geeks and Paul Rudd: The Stars in Judd Apatow’s Universe.)
Sandler’s George Simmons —who, like Sandler, stars in some terrible comedies —recruits Rogen to write jokes for him and ultimately forms a bond with his funny apprentice, all while trying to win back the girl who got away (played by Mann, Apatow’s real wife.) Jason Schwartzmann, Eric Bana and even Eminem (in a cameo) also appear in the so-called “cancer comedy.” Travers says Sandler delivers his best performance yet, which is quite a feat when you factor in the underrated Punch-Drunk Love. Apatow, meanwhile, stills shows “a maturity that still allows for dick jokes,” Travers adds, and thankfully the dick jokes are great.
Also highly recommended by Travers, if you’re looking to go off the radar or Funny People is sold out on Saturday night: The documentary The Cove, which Travers describes as “The Bourne Identity meets Flipper.” The doc takes a look at Japan fishermen’s gruesome practice of luring dolphins into a cove and killing them to sell them as whale meat and the advocates like Heroes‘ Hayden Panettiere who risk jail time in an attempt to stop the slaughter. It’s riveting and represents documentary at its most exciting. (On a side note, it almost redeems Panettiere for the Scum Bucket filler I Love You Beth Cooper.)
Speaking of the Scum Bucket, Travers stood by his word and saw the secret agent guinea pig debacle G-Force last weekend, helping to contribute to that film’s Number One box office tally. In short, if you’re under five years old, G-Force is Citizen Kane for all you know. If you’re over the age of five, G-Force is utter crap, completely devoid of anything worthwhile and destined for the Scum Bucket.
Read this week’s reviews:
• Funny People
• The Cove
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