A lot has been made of this film, as it’s Judd Apatow’s third film, following his successes with 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, and there’s a lot worth praising. As usual with his work the film walks a fine line between being a comedy or a drama, leaning more for the emotional punches that just happen to be funny.
Yes, it is dark, it’s about an asshole comedian as he deals with being diagnosed with leukemia, but that doesn’t make it bad. Adam Sandler knows the right balance to make us love/hate the guy, while Seth Rogen gets to be our moral compass, calling shenanigans on plot points that would otherwise be acceptable in the rom-com genre. Thus, don’t expect everything to fall neatly into place like The Proposal playing in the next screen.
I’ve heard complaints about the film’s dark tones and length, but the time flew by and I left the theater really feeling the story. Apatow’s best, ignore the haters.
*If you like this and are feeling adventurous, check out Adam Sandler’s first dramatic role in Punch Drunk Love. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood) it’s more artsy and challenging, but I found it mesmerizing. Keep your eyes peeled for Philip Seymour Hoffman.