Sunday, January 11, 2009

Poster Critique: Funny People

I immediately got what they were going for in this actually, and although I could see people not understanding it (due to a couple minor errors) I think it works; it reminds me of older, less flashy artwork, like Silkwood, or One True Thing. While those were dramas, and I believe this film is supposed to have more serious undertones than Apatow's earlier works, I think this is an effective, stripped down concept that works a bit better than the split screen-ish stuff of He's Just Not That Into You (the newest poster), The Family Stone or Wonder Boys.

The expressions are pretty good (although Mann's picture seems a bit too airbrushed) and the light coffee background is nice and neutral. Rogen seems like the young sidekick type, a content look with less responsibility. His head on the shoulder suggests a plutonic "hanging around" type character. Sandler, while his range has always been called into question but his performances harnessed in some really good movies (to me, Punch Drunk Love, and Spanglish), has a great, small blank smile, with a seemingly pensive nature underneath. He's got something on his mind, but puts on a face for the other characters, and you kind of see how the dynamics are going to take shape in the film. Mann might play the bright, positive energy that infuses Sandler's world, not only with her smile in the poster but the photo shows her with her arms around Sandler's arm, indicating some sort of love.

This could be a real great direct pairing of Sandler and Apatow, who have been good friends for years now. The poster to me indicates maybe an "indie"(oh you know that kind of vibe) approach in spirit, and there's something confessional about the concept, something that says "this is an actor's film". Even though Rogen and Sandler again aren't known for their range, it could prove promising. The dialogue is sure to be sharp, and Apatow knows his comedy terrain and his style.

I know marketing-wise it's good to mention Knocked Up and The 40 Year Old Virgin, but that's where it will probably throw a lot of people off, if they are looking for a film similar to that. Not saying that it won't be, but it doesn't seem cheeky or push witty copy. Maybe if they mentioned "from the creator of Freaks and Geeks" or something a little less well known, I would have been just as drawn in. The star power is there already.

The 'FUNNY PEOPLE' font is nicely, and almost abrasively, thrown in, with all caps and such. Something tells me that this is going to be a dryer film, and I'm intrigued by that as well. The characters could be funny, but the film about them could be coming from a different perspective.

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