Sunday, June 26, 2011

Looking for a Funny Bone(r)

“Comedy is the art of making people laugh

without making them puke”

Steve Martin

It's been awhile since I've shared any of my banal musings and to those of you feeling my absence I THANK YOU for your kind messages and support. I surely do feel myself getting back into the swing of this place again.

It all started on Saturday when I tucked into what must be the most under-touted Judd Apatow project ever. It's called Funny People and if you're as facile as I apparantly am, you're expecting a bromance and nothing more. The Title, Cast, One-sheet and Director would all lead you to believe you're getting another fart joke infested stream of vomit and titties set to a highly foot tappable soundtrack. And there is all that.

Okay, yes, that was all I was looking for on Saturday. I'm pregnant and absolutely thrilled so the chuckles come easily these days. All I can do is smile and laugh right now.

Joy ~ Joy ~ Joy

There's something so great about being surprised, nay, shocked when someone gently shoves you off the beaten path. I was not expecting the tenderness and humanity this film delivered - or the thought provoking conversations it has subsequently produced in my home. 

I won't go into the plot or characters in depth because I want to encourage you see it for yourself. I will say that I thought it allowed both Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen to stretch their dramatic legs and that is always great to see. The film is over 2.5 hours long - which was a surprise. Something less quality using that amount of reel would have come off highly self indulgent on the part of Apatow. Instead, it left you feeling like you invested time and were really a part of what was going on.

The reverb of this experience was that I've since been thinking about Liev's opportunities to show his own comedic talents.   And what it made me realize was that Liev's gift so far has been in the earnestness of what he brings to his characters. We love them because in the middle of a crazy situation they're doing their very best. Whether it's Vilma packing heat in a sundress or Stuart making speeches about colourblind dogs, it works. We buy into the ridiculousness of the situation - and that's because because he believed in it first.

You know that Pfffffftttttt noise of dissaproval people make, usually followed by intense eye-rolling? Never done that in a Liev film. Not once. Yes, films like His & Hers or The Ten or even Salt might not have been for everyone but they all kept me more or less in the moment. Does that make me a Liev fan - or just a true Film Buff? Is there a difference? Does it matter?

But back to Funny People, Adam Sandler exceeded expectations. I could not help but think, though, that I would have LOVED to see Liev in the role. A man and a life threatening diagnosis with only his jaded humour to get him through. Raw and real.

I read in an article recently (which I will not post here since some could consider the source Pap and I apologize for that) that Liev and Naomi are "Taking the Summer off." All I can say is I too would find it difficult to leave those beautiful boys and go to work every day. I hope a good rest is followed by lots of wonderful new projects and opportunities. And some really great comedy. This I need to see.

Thanks again, guys. It's great to be back. xo