Judd Apatow is one of those strange curiosities in the filmmaking industry. He made his name blending bro-humor, stoner comedy and genuine emotional earnestness with the 1-2 knockout punch of 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, and has since put himself on the map as the go to guy for a successful mainstream comedy. Then as his career continued, he started putting in more of the earnest emotional stuff back into his work, which isn’t anything new for him at all. Longtime Apatow fans will be familiar with his TV projects, Freaks And Geeks being the most notable for being a perfect encapsulation of a generation’s awkward teen years, that had a timeless relatability to it despite being set in the 80’s.
Then he had his first bomb with Funny People, which was a movie that was more drama than comedy, and people weren’t expecting it, nor did they like what they got. Personally, I thought it was good, if a bit self-indulgent and long. However, it looks like Apatow is dead set on another turn where we’re gonna be given more and more of his own personal issues and hangups through a Paul Rudd filter, and it has a new trailer. The older, funnier, original trailer was covered previously, by an author here who has a much more positive, if pretentious outlook on the film, as opposed to my immediate, knee-jerk pessimism followed with cynical malaise deflected with humor as a coping mechanism. Just like an Apatow movie! Oh… Oh god… Here’s the new trailer, I’m going to go weep in the shower for a minute.
Now, all self-aware deprecation aside, I obviously could be jumping the gun, but the trailer makes it barely even look like an Apatow film. Since when did he start making touchey-feeley,psuedo-indie twee-fests that borderline on becoming mumblecore films? I would have very little interest in seeing this if it was made by literally anyone else, or if Paul Rudd’s beautiful eyes and smile didn’t enchant me with glee every time I see him. The movie is so transparent in its intention, it might as well be called “Being Old And Married Sucks“.
Presumably his next film will be a “sort of sequel” with him sitting in a hotel room in his underwear, drinking heavily while sobbing about his wasted life. It’ll be rad. Also, this…