Judd Apatow Talks Realism in Comedies, Plus Clips from Funny People
07.22.09 by Ryan
Judd Apatow has had success making movies about realistic characters dealing with unusual circumstances, and with his latest movie Funny People, focusing on a comedian reconsidering his life in the face of a fatal disease, he may have struck his most realistic chord yet. Apatow started his career as a television writer where he learned the secret ingredient to making successful comedies:
For me, the main thing I learned at The Larry Sanders Show from Garry Shandling was to just stick to the truth and if this story takes place in the world of people whose main goal is to be funny, then I could just tell a truthful story and it'll come out funny because it's happening to them. So I didn't obsess on it too much but in editing, sometimes you think, "Oh, this sequence is too funny. It's going to be hard to get to the next one that isn't." And you're finding ways to balance it. And sometimes I would think certain sections are so funny that it could change the whole tone of the movie and I have to be careful to make everything realistic.
That approach is on display in the following clips from Funny People, which blend comedy into awkward dinner conversations, arguments amongst spouses, and the sharing of sensitive memories: