Funny People.

The ringleader of the 'Frat Pack' has made it. With his fingers in so many comedy pies in recent years, he's sculpted a new breed of humour. So it's no surprise that when Judd Apatow decides to head up a film personally it's considered a big deal, and Funny People, his latest, is no exception.

George Simmons, (Sandler) a megastar who's not above making low rate comedies for high rate pay checks is living proof that money can't buy happiness. When informed that he may only have months to live, he decides to reassess his life and make amends with an old flame.

Funny People lives up to it's name, as it's filled with them. A flab-free Seth Rogen leads the supporting cast as comedy PA to Simmons, with a toned down performance proving that he's more than just a walking pot joke. As struggling stand up Ira, he's in constant competition with friends Leo and Mark (Jonah Hill and Jason Schwartzman). Both are very funny but are overshadowed by a hilarious turn from Aussie Eric Bana, playing the husband to Simmons' 'One who got away' Laura (Leslie Mann).

But just when you think you've got Funny People clocked, it pulls a fast one on you. Rom-com? Hardly - in depth character study more like. Adam Sandler as an egocentric character forced to question his life is a great change from the flawed nice guys he often plays. Over time the increasingly unpleasant George learns the price of happiness, eventually finding it down an unlikely path.

So many spontaneous one-liners make it into the final cut of Apatow's films that their run times do tend to be quite long. Sure Funny People could be shorter, but the clue's in the title, we're looking at people not plot. In the two hour plus run time we learn what makes these characters tick, and in that sense every scene is justified.

It may not be everybody's cup of tea and it may not be Apatow's funniest, but in an age saturated with churned out formula comedies polluting cinema, Funny People is a smart, refreshing change, and change is good.

Funny People is in cinemas now.

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