Of Apatow and Wilder
I'm discovering that a central artictic dilemma occurs in all Judd Apatow's movies: he can't decide in any one film whether God or the Devil controls his soul; or in other terms, whether his art or his commerce rules his artistic visions. So he chooses not to decide; to give you both...unblended. (The great film genius, Billy Wilder, knew how to create a smooth admixture of both, sweet and sour. But that's why he is considered a genius.)
The first part of "Funny People" is the stand-up comic charcter war time; ironic, mean and funny at the same time, a competitive world of funny guys--where bawdy humor standing in for fists, and intermural fights draw blood with a thousand pin-pricks of personal truth.
The other part of "Funny People" is a sweet domestic comedy: "Will the boy get the girl?" The dramatic thrust is: after a twelve year absence, will the beautiful girl stay with her more boring husband and clever two daughters, or will she return to the comedian-leading man? Is bachelor an addction or a choice? Can good sex conquer family, duty, and responsibility?
Tune in, soap fans. Judd Apatow is a wonderful filmmaker. He's just not a genius...yet.