Thursday, January 20, 2011

Judd Apatow is Caden Cotard

So I just finally watched Funny People last night, and it struck me that Judd Apatow's movie is much more Meta than Charlie Kaufman has ever managed to achieve. I realize that I'm not necessarily saying anything new: a lot was made out of the fact that he got aging lazy sell-out millionaire comedian Adam Sandler to play aging lazy sell-out millionaire comedian George Simmons. But beyond that, with few exeptions, almost every character in the movie plays some version of themselves.

Actually, given that Jason Schwartzman's big breakout in Rushmore happened all the way back in 1998, it would have been slightly more appropriate for him to play a former child actor who made the rare transition into an adult career, but with that exception, you have characters/actors like Leo/Jonah Hill -- a talented scene-stealer looking for a big break played by a talented scene-stealer who got his break from the director who is currently directing the movie that he's in. In fact, most of the movie involves people playing either themselves or versions of their public personas to the degree that once you try sussing it all out you're liable to wonder if RZA may have actually worked at a deli. It's goofy.

Then you get to the casting of someone like Eric Bana as the handsome foil / Australian husband, which is even more meta if you've watched enough Apatow movies to remember the conversation that Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill had in Apatow's last film about the awesomeness of the movie Munich. How much did that conversation influence the casting? It makes my head hurt.

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