What follows is nonstop raunch, sporadic laughs and unlikable characters. There are some great little throwaway bits of famous people playing themselves — most notably Eminem and Ray Romano.
Apatow, who also directed, strives to show that laughter springs from pain. He gets sidetracked with a too-lengthy storyline involving George’s ex-fiancée (Leslie Mann) and her husband (unexpectedly goofy Eric Bana) that runs the movie into the ground. Perhaps Apatow was reluctant to cut any of his real-life wife and children’s scenes for the sake of a more cohesive movie.
“Funny People” tells us that “comedy should be done by people who are funny.” They just forgot to give us a punch line.
‘Aliens in the Attic’ plot not so foreign
Producer Barry Josephson brought a surprise hit to the screen in 2007 with Amy Adams as a fairy tale princess in “Enchanted.” The sharp story line combined with a mix of animation and live actors to give an amusing take on the Disney formula. But his new movie, “Aliens in the Attic,” does not live up to the promise of his previous effort.
The shopworn elements of many kid-oriented sci-fi flicks are on parade here. A team of little green aliens sets up shop in the attic of an opulent vacation home.
The cute but mean critters are here to take over the planet. They need to activate a space machine left buried under the house years before. Of course, only a motley group of kids stands between the might of the alien invaders and the destruction of civilization.
Viewers will easily recognize the stolen plot devices from “The Goonies,” “Gremlins” and “E.T.” that are recycled here.
B-list actors from “Saturday Night Live” try their best, but it all falls pretty flat. The real wit or charm that would make this a winner is missing in action.
JOHN DEPKO is a Costa Mesa resident and a senior investigator for the Orange County public defender’s office. SUSANNE PEREZ lives in Costa Mesa and is an executive assistant for a financial services company.