Last week I interviewed Funny People writer-director Judd Apatow for a story running in this Sunday's paper. Here's what Apatow had to say about the unusually long running time of the movie, which clocks in at two hours and 20 minutes - roughly 10 minutes more than his previous film, Knocked Up, which somehow felt longer than this one.
"When I pitched the movie, I pitched the length. It wasn't that we shot the movie and then couldn't figure out how to make it shorter. The intention was always to make a two-hour and 20-minute movie that had a big scope and covered a lot of ground. The challenge was to keep it interesting and super funny for that length.
"I know people's attention spans have gotten shorter through the YouTube and the Internet. But what else do people have to do except go home and watch the news and go to sleep? Yes, we are asking a little bit of the audience. But this is the only time people will ever get to spend with these characters, and if they love them, they won't want it to end. I'm glad there are a hundred episodes of Seinfeld. I never think "I wish there were a few less.""