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Funny People

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ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2009 | By Noel Murray
Funny People Universal, $29.98/$34.98; Blu-ray, $39.98 "Funny People" writer-director Judd Apatow might have tested his core audience a little too much with his story of a self-hating comedian (played by Adam Sandler) who gets diagnosed with cancer and asks for help from a fawning young stand-up (played by Seth Rogen). But Apatow and company don't spare the dirty jokes either, and there's something admirably uncompromising about their willingness to push for truth over likability.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 11, 2013 | By Mark Olsen
It is just a few minutes into "Grown Ups 2" when star Adam Sandler is peed on in the face by a deer. How one feels about that - is it funny, is it cheap, is it a weird curiosity? - will likely be an accurate litmus test for responses to the rest of the film. The 2010 film "Grown Ups" was among the biggest box office successes of Sandler's career, so it makes sense that he would reunite with costars Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade for his first sequel. As very patient wives, Salma Hayek, Maria Bello and Maya Rudolph are even more flagrantly underused here than in the first film.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 1994 | ROBERT KOEHLER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In its own perverse way, director Jan Duncan's Fullerton Civic Light Opera staging of "Annie," at Plummer Auditorium, provides a few clues to the show's durability. A lot of musicals have come and gone since the '70s. (Remember "Barnum"?) Not "Annie." Why? It's not necessarily because of Annie, or whatever bright young girl sings "Tomorrow."
ENTERTAINMENT
December 27, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik
The "sort-of sequel to 'Knocked Up'” is how Universal marketed Judd Apatow's comedy “This Is 40,” a perfect slogan for a movie about which many of us felt ambivalent. “This Is 40” is of course Apatow's latest attempt to marry sweetness with raunch. Marry is the key word: As with his 2009 underperformer “Funny People,” Apatow's new film explored the skim milk - dipped ennui of modern marriage, or at least modern marriage in a tony West Los Angeles neighborhood to a woman who looks like Leslie Mann.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 2009 | Mark Olsen
It was just about this time last summer when life changed in a big way for Aubrey Plaza, who can currently be seen as Seth Rogen's love interest in the new Judd Apatow film "Funny People." She had come to Los Angeles from New York for a final audition for her role in the Apatow film and in short order also landed a part in "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" -- the next film from "Hot Fuzz" director Edgar Wright -- as well as a supporting role as a blase intern on the NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation."
ENTERTAINMENT
July 19, 2009 | Saul Austerlitz
As a director, John "Sully" Sullivan was no stranger to success. His "Ants in Your Plants of 1939" was an enormous comedy hit, and the studio was eager for a follow-up: "Ants in Your Plants of 1940," anyone? Sullivan, however, had different plans for his next effort. He yearned to travel around America, see the real country, and come back with a hard-hitting picture about big issues called "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
NEWS
August 21, 1988
"Funny People" is on the air and "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" is off. Good grief! Susan Richards, Palos Verdes Peninsula
ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 1987 | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press
Whoopi Goldberg, Sandra Bernhard, Bob Goldthwait and other comedians are scheduled to appear Sunday night at "No Laughing Matter," a $100-a-ticket benefit at the Improv for producer Norman Lear's People for the American Way civil rights watchdog group. The evening was originally scheduled to include the late Dick Shawn, but benefit organizers added a few "surprise guests" after his death last month. The funny people will be concerning themselves (as does Lear's group) with freedom of
ENTERTAINMENT
August 2, 2009 | Lisa Rosen
Eric Bana cuts a swath through a wide array of film genres -- consider the sword and sandal epic "Troy," the comic book adaptation "Hulk," the historical dramas from old England ("The Other Boleyn Girl") and recent history ("Munich"). Stepping up the pace, Bana is now working a whole career's worth of variety into a single summer with three wildly different films out this season. He also worked on a fourth that covered some beloved old territory and might have killed him, but more on that later.
MAGAZINE
January 27, 1991 | EDWARD A. GARGAN, Edward A. Gargan writes from New York. He does not own a television.
I'm not sure it's time to be alarmed. There are, though, debates, even discussions, about this. I'm troubled by it myself. It's a very simple matter, really: Is America draining away its reserves of laughter? Don't laugh. Recently, a friend was ruffling through his guide to cable television, America's IV tube, trying to find something that didn't require laughing. You see, he's used up his laughs.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 14, 2012 | By Oliver Gettell
Filmmakers often incorporate elements of their personal lives into their work, and few more so than Judd Apatow: His three most recent films as a director - 2007's "Knocked Up," 2009's "Funny People" and this year's "This Is 40" - star his wife, Leslie Mann, and their two daughters, Maude and Iris. In this clip from the Envelope Screening Series featuring The Times' Rebecca Keegan, Apatow and Maude talk about how their father-daughter dynamic plays out on set. "It just feels, like, normal because he's just a little bit more stern," Maude says of her father's directing style.
TRAVEL
July 10, 2011
The comedy queen will be regally remembered Aug. 3 to 7 during the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy in Jamestown, N.Y. The festival coincides with the centennial of her birth there on Aug. 6, 1911. "She's the high-water mark in situation comedy," said Joan Rivers, who will be among the funny people performing during the celebration. Rivers, who worked with Ball on several of her later TV shows, believes Ball broke plenty of ground — and not just for females. "I think funny is funny," she said.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 2010
The Early Show (N) 7 a.m. KCBS Today Carol Burnett; Mario Batali. (N) 7 a.m. KNBC KTLA Morning News (N) 7 a.m. KTLA Good Morning America Trisha Yearwood. (N) 7 a.m. KABC Good Day L.A. (N) 7 a.m. KTTV Live With Regis and Kelly Carol Burnett. (N) 9 a.m. KABC The View Joe Scarborough. (N) 10 a.m. KABC Rachael Ray Freddie Prinze Jr. 2 p.m. KCBS The Bonnie Hunt Show Peter Krause. (N)
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2009
Forget "17 Again." Talk about: "Me and Orson Welles" It's been easy to dismiss Zac Efron as a Disney-reared pretty boy, but his performance as a 1930s teenager hired to star in Orson Welles' production of "Julius Caesar" in this Richard Linklater period drama suggests his potential for far more than anything we've yet seen. (Friday) It is oh so worth talking about: "The Princess and the Frog" Can Randy Newman -- and a timely twist on the typically passive fairy-tale princess story -- return Disney's animated musicals to their former glory?
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2009 | By Noel Murray
Funny People Universal, $29.98/$34.98; Blu-ray, $39.98 "Funny People" writer-director Judd Apatow might have tested his core audience a little too much with his story of a self-hating comedian (played by Adam Sandler) who gets diagnosed with cancer and asks for help from a fawning young stand-up (played by Seth Rogen). But Apatow and company don't spare the dirty jokes either, and there's something admirably uncompromising about their willingness to push for truth over likability.
BUSINESS
September 7, 2009 | Ben Fritz and John Horn
If the year's first four months defied all expectations for what Hollywood could do in a recession, this summer delivered some sobering reality. Through the end of April, domestic box-office receipts leaped 17% while admissions surged nearly 16% from the previous year, according to Hollywood.com. But as the weather turned hot, business cooled: From May 1 through Aug. 31, attendance was down 2.4% from 2008 and 6% from 2007. Summer box-office revenues rose 1.3%, not even enough to account for ticket price inflation, let alone the premiums charged in a growing number of 3-D theaters.
TRAVEL
July 10, 2011
The comedy queen will be regally remembered Aug. 3 to 7 during the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy in Jamestown, N.Y. The festival coincides with the centennial of her birth there on Aug. 6, 1911. "She's the high-water mark in situation comedy," said Joan Rivers, who will be among the funny people performing during the celebration. Rivers, who worked with Ball on several of her later TV shows, believes Ball broke plenty of ground — and not just for females. "I think funny is funny," she said.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 30, 2009 | Gina Piccalo
Here are five rising stars of the alt-comedy scene. Aziz Ansari Ansari started doing stand-up while still a business student at New York University. He and veteran Upright Citizens Brigade New York regulars Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel in 2005 formed the sketch group Human Giant, which debuted as an MTV series in 2007. This year, Ansari appears in Judd Apatow's "Funny People" and costars in UCB founder Amy Poehler's NBC sitcom "Parks and Recreation." Next year, he'll costar in Apatow Productions' summer release "Get Him to the Greek," with Jonah Hill and Russell Brand.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 25, 2009 | Ben Fritz
Leave it to the "Basterds" to break the rules. During a season when studios have become all but convinced that audiences are losing interest in big-name movie stars and R-rated adult fare, perhaps it was appropriate that the end of summer would offer a surprise hit that embodied both those qualities. "Inglourious Basterds," featuring Brad Pitt among an ensemble cast, earned $38 million at the box office this weekend in the U.S. and Canada, according to domestic distributor Weinstein Co., far exceeding expectations by drawing a fairly diverse audience without alienating director Quentin Tarantino's core fan base of men in their 20s and early 30s. The same occurred overseas, where Universal Pictures opened the film in 22 territories, including Germany, France, Britain and Australia, to a strong $27.5 million.
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