Archives for posts with tag: Judd Apatow

Normally, I struggle to empathize with trashy characters flailing their way through life. Normally, when a film clocks in at two-plus hours, I struggle to understand why it wasn’t 30 minutes shorter. “The King of Staten Island” (2020) is not normal. Pete Davidson’s self-deprecating vanity project benefits greatly from Judd Apatow’s direction and co-writing. You can see his handiwork all over the witty, working-class NYC repartee. And the last half hour feels more like a welcome reward instead of a trudge to the finish, as our twentysomething hero gamely wrestles with the inertia that comes from a lifetime of mourning.

The best thing about “The 40 Year Old Virgin” (2005) is it has that new-movie smell. You know what I mean. The concept is funny and all, but this was right at the beginning of the whole Judd Apatow Bromantic Comedy Era. It was Steve Carell’s first starring role. We hadn’t gotten tired of co-star Seth Rogen saying “fuck!” and doing bong hits every five seconds. The supporting cast is amazingly deep (Paul Rudd, Catherine Keener, Jane Lynch, Kat Dennings, Leslie Mann, Jonah Hill, etc.). And the dialogue is as sharp as a rock band on its first hit album.

Either my standards are getting lower, or some of these R-rated, twentysomething-targeted comedies are getting funnier. “30 Minutes or Less” (2011) has a detailed but understandable plot, quirky characters and lots of snappy dialogue (Between all the f-bombs. It is what it is.). Maybe the producers felt they needed the story to be better than a typical Sandler/Apatow effort due to the B-list cast (Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari, the dude from the Facebook movie, etc.). Or maybe my mind was in a fog after a lapdance scene that happened early on and starred the brunette chick from “Rules of Engagement.”