Funny People is a 2009 American comedy-drama film written, co-produced and directed by Judd Apatow, and starring Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, and Leslie Mann. The film was released on 31 July 2009 in North America, and on 28 August 2009 in the United Kingdom. Funny People implements more dramatic elements than seen in Apatow's previous films. The film was co-produced by Apatow Productions and Mr. Madison 23 Productions, a subsidiary of Sandler's company Happy Madison. Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures co-financed the film and it also served as a worldwide distributor.
George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is a very successful comedian and actor. However, he is self-absorbed, lonely and estranged from his family. When diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and informed that traditional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation would be unlikely to benefit him, George is offered an experimental treatment which has an eight-percent chance of therapeutic response. This development causes him to descend into a depression and upon seeing old videos of his stand-up days, he decides to return to his roots and do stand-up comedy. Ira Wright (Seth Rogen) is an aspiring stand-up comedian who dreams of quitting his day job at a supermarket deli, and who lives in an apartment with his two best friends, Mark Taylor Jackson (Jason Schwartzman), a moderately successful sitcom actor, and Leo Koenig (Jonah Hill), another aspiring stand-up comic. While at work, Ira has a conversation with Chuck (RZA) a fellow employee about his desire to quit his job, and Chuck agrees to visit the club to watch him perform. After roommate Mark "accidently" leaves one of his $25,000 weekly paychecks on Ira's pillow, Daisy (Aubrey Plaza), a fellow stand-up comedienne who lived nearby, visits, and Mark magnanimously tells Ira that Mark will hold off having sex with Daisy for ten days in order for Ira to. George and Ira meet at a comedy club, where George takes the stage to deliver a dark routine. Ira is "up" next, and draws some laughs by mocking George?s morbidity, even though George is part of the audience. George calls Ira the next morning and asks him and Leo to write jokes for George's upcoming gig at a MySpace corporate event. However, Ira initially hides this from Leo. The event goes well and George hires Ira as his "assistant" and begins to mentor Ira with regard to routines. Informed of his condition, Ira cares for George through the treatment. After a walking conversation between Ira, Mark, and Leo, Ira implores George to tell people about his disease. George does call his ex-fiance, Laura (Leslie Mann), to apologize for his continual infidelities when they were together, but does not tell her why he is having a change of heart. Meanwhile, at Mark's, Ira?s and Leo?s home, Ira sees Daisy come out of Mark?s bedroom, apparently having had sex with Mark. Ira confronts Daisy about having had sex with Mark while in the planning stages of attending the concert together. Laura comes to one of George?s shows. She later tells George that her husband, Clarke, cheats on her as well when he travels to China on business. She regrets leaving George, and they end up becoming reconciled. George?s physician tells him that the medicine has worked: George, almost miraculously, has no traces of the disease, but that it could resurface. Ira is happy; however, George is unsure what to do with his life. He decides he wants a long-term relationship and calls Laura, but does not tell her the news. George and Ira go to San Francisco to perform; Laura meets them there. George makes Ira tell Laura during intermission that he is free of disease. George later explains that he didn?t want to jinx it. They embrace and she invites George and Ira to her house in Marin County. George and Ira spend time with Laura and her daughters. George and Laura sneak into the guest house together, and indulge in some extramarital sexual activities. Ira reveals to both daughters that George is healthy now. Clarke (Eric Bana) unexpectedly arrives home early; Laura asks George and Ira to maintain the façade of George being deathly sick. In the morning, Clarke bids George a tearful goodbye. His daughters reveal that George is actually healthy. Clarke confronts Laura and suspects she is cheating. Laura tries to explain that George may not be entirely free of disease and "calls Clarke out" on his infidelity; he drives off. Laura decides to leave him. Ira thinks George should leave because it is not worth it to ruin a 12-year marriage, but George threatens to fire him. The next day, George, Ira, and Laura watch video of Laura?s daughter, Mabel, performing the song "Memory" from Cats. Ira and Laura find the performance moving, but George inadvertently mocks it. Laura leaves for the airport to tell Clarke she is leaving him. Ira lies to George and follows her. Clarke tells Laura that he wants to give their marriage another try and that he only cheated on her twice. Laura agrees and says her fling with George was a mere flirtation. Ira, having followed Laura and Clarke to the Taiwanese Great China Airlines First class lounge, gets caught by Clarke trying to sneak away. Laura is then forced to tell Clarke she slept with George. Clarke chases George out of his house, attempting to start a brawl. George asks Laura to explain; however, Laura "sides" with Clarke. Heading back to Los Angeles, George berates Ira for his betrayal and terminates his employment. Ira upbraids George for not learning anything from his experience, saying that his insensitivity hasn?t changed. Ira returns to his old job at the deli while he starts to date Daisy. George attends Ira?s stand-up and watches him being more confident on stage. The next day, George finds Ira at work and admits that even though he is no longer sick, his attitude needs improvement. George offers Ira jokes he wrote down, proving he is making an attempt to become a better person.