That being said, Funny People is a story about growing. George Simmons (Sandler) is a highly successful, yet isolated comedian who finds out he only has a little time left to live. He discovers the talents of up and comer Ira Wright (Rogen) who he hires to write his jokes and act as his assistant.
I would argue that this is Sandler’s best acting work to date. George’s isolation and unwillingness to make a human connection keeps his life in conflict. Even though he’s a jerk in real life, we sympathize and root for him to succeed, because he is the one who makes us laugh. Even when confronted with the possibility of a real friend in Ira, George can’t seem to cope. The love-hate relationship with George and the audience is a fine touch from Sandler.
It was also nice to see that Rogen has the ability to branch out and play another role than the same old uncomfortable-in-his-own-skin, laughable fat guy. He shows range and that’s going to move him to the next level.
I felt very satisfied seeing that good deeds are not immediately rewarded in this movie, because they are not forgotten. Even in the sometimes jaded world these characters live in, showing heart is acceptable. Sounds like a good way to live.