Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

A Night of Funny People

Last night, Evan and I went out to the Orpheum to watch a comedy show/film taping for Judd Apatow’s new movie, “Funny People.”

Getting into the theater was pretty disorganized — we had to bring out cell phones back to the car since they weren’t allowing any in, then we had to wait in long, gender-specific lines to be searched and wanded before going into the theater. The girls’ line was mercifully short and I sat in my seat at least ten or fifteen minutes before Evan came in.

The show started pretty late because of all the door drama, and David Spade opened the show. He was followed by Adam Sandler, performing in character as George Simmons, and Seth Rogen, performing in character as Ira.

After the movie’s headliners were through, though, the real fun started, with a performance by Sarah Silverman, who managed to spill Red Bull all over her joke list. She told some jokes I’d heard already, but her bit was great. She also performed a few songs, which were my favorite part of her act.

By far the most surprising and ridiculous act of the night was Aziz Ansari as Randy — or should I say Raaaaaaaandy (“Randy, with 8 A’s”) — another bit shot for the film. He was completely over the top, dancing around the stage and being backed up by a DJ who would add on to his punchlines. He was totally self-obsessed and told jokes that from anyone else wouldn’t be funny, but his gimmicky choreographed bit was the evening’s highlight.

The show closed with a set from Patton Oswalt, who I really like. I saw him do standup for the first time at the Irvine Improv a few years ago and thought he was hilarious. I hadn’t seen him perform since then, though, so all his material was new to me, and he had some great jokes.

The evening ran a bit long, but overall, we had a lot of laughs and it ended strong. Afterwards, we grabbed a late dinner at Lola’s (the kitchen’s open until 1 am!).

Maybe we’ll see ourselves in the movie when it comes out this summer, though that’s very unlikely — we were in the balcony, many rows back and we both looked directly at the camera at least once when it came by us.

Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Wednesday night I went to a bloggers’ Forgetting Sarah Marshall screening. I loved The 40-Year-Old Virgin, quite liked Knocked Up, and think this is another win for Judd Apatow and crew. The movie got a lot of big laughs, a few cringes and had a pretty shocking amount of male nudity — apparently Jason Segel likes taking off his pants and doesn’t mind showing all his bits to the world.

The story’s premise is simple enough: guy gets dumped by his TV-star girlfriend and goes to Hawaii to try to get her off his mind. As fate would have it, the ex and her new beau are also vacationing at the same resort and all are too proud to leave. This recipe for awkward situations stands up quite well, and watching Jason Segel go from heartbroken slob to something closer to happiness as he makes new Island friends, meets a girl and tries to get over his ex is almost as sweet as it is funny.

Jonah Hill, Jack McBrayer and Paul Rudd all show up in funny supporting roles, but Russell Brand, the British comedian who I’m guessing most Americans, like myself, have never heard of, gives the standout performance. He’s smarmy and gross, yet intriguingly fun and likable. A little Jack Sparrow-esque, his too-cool, free-loving rock star character steals all the scenes he’s in, with plenty of exaggerated eye-rolling, hair flipping and suggestive singing and dancing.

The women don’t fare quite as well. I don’t know if it’s because I have typecast Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis as teens in my mind that they just don’t quite work as the adults they’re playing, or if it’s because though they have pretty big roles, they’re really secondary to the male characters. They don’t get as many laughs, and while they have some sincere moments, they seem more like caricatures of women than the real thing. Of course, all the characters in the comedy areĀ  stereotypical, so maybe I’m just being a bit oversensitive.

The film also takes some funny jabs at the Brits, has a Bubba Gump-like bartender who likes to list things like names of fish, and even includes a short but traumatic pig-slaughtering scene. And its gorgeous Hawaiian scenery, which is replete with sappy newlyweds to torture the main character, made me really excited for my trip there this summer.

I’ll probably be going back to the theater to see this again since Evan hasn’t seen it and I know he’ll love it. It’s definitely a movie to see in a theater full of people, whose laughs only add to the hilarious two-hour experience.

Thanks, Annie Mole, for inviting me along!