Apatow relies upon little wins, in this successively disappointing chapter about depressed characters, Sandler is his biggest win.
Apatow is closing down a comedy club. Ironically, despite of the film title, the director, Judd Apatow has made a film about unfunny people. Sad and lost, drinking their own sorrow, exhaling their fear and failure, this is an incredibly difficult story to pull off. With such poignancy involved- not that it depends upon it, but the route it takes is way too dark and upsetting- the grip could easily be lost with the viewers. Especially, if there is very little to feel empathetic about the characters, something that Apatow may earn in latter stages, but to have that in your pocket from the start would be almost impossible.
Also, he treats his film like a musical. With every step further advanced in the script, there comes a tight five minute of train of jokes plastered as some stand up gig, trying to balance the comedy and drama. Unfortunately, while doing so, what Apatow forgets is that, he is stopping the clock ticking every time he follows the jokes. And as always, a written down joke varies completely different from the one performed, boiling it down to a not-so-tight five minutes.
Seth Rogen is the perfect host, as in he never takes charge on the screen, he is supportive in the perfect way, he allows others to control the energy. And in control is, Adam Sandler in his most darkest role. He is somehow himself, from his intuitions and vocab and body language on the stage, but him destroying himself with various cooky tactics is definitely difficult to swallow. And that sombre part of Sandler is where he excels in the film. Funny Man is not funny and nor is about a common man, ergo the term “normal” gets a whole new definition and the film feeds on it every time, Apatow refreshes it with a new batch.