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Judd Apatow explains why "Funny People" is so long

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.

Apatow   "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.""



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I think it's pretty ridiculous that Apatow even has to defend/explain the length of the movie. I think he's proven himself to be a good director, and since this movie is suppose to incorporate a more serious side than previous projects, I would imagine he would need some more time to flesh out the drama while also having plenty of laughs. I'm really curious to see how it turns out.

So far the trailers, which are great, seem to emphasize the comedic aspects, but I am more interested in how well the drama is fleshed out. I guess they want to make sure their bread and butter fratboy crowd see the movie. We’ll see. I did think it was cool that, in typical Apatow fashion, the TV trailer features a great song – “Ain’t That Strange” by Rhett Miller – wouldn’t be surprised at all if this ended up pulling a “Paper Planes” and getting huge from this movie alone.

You can check out this this TV spot at : http://displacedbrett.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/funny-people/

Rene Rodriguez

I think the length of the movie has become an issue only because Apatow is at a stage in his career where studios are going to indulge him in order to work with him, and his films have been steadily creeping up in length.

I don't think "Funny People" is too long, but I do think "Knocked Up" could have used a trim, as much as I enjoyed it. It took me three nights to get through "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" on DVD. That movie felt endless, although again I liked it.

Plus Sandler's demographic doesn't do two-and-a-half hour dramedies. Although they're not necessarily the target audience here anyway.

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