Judd Apatow’s third feature film, Funny People, opened at number one last weekend (it dropped to number five this week). As far as filmmaking evolution goes, there’s a definite arc of maturity to Apatow’s work – beginning with The 40 Year Old Virgin, and progressing through Knocked Up, Funny People is the culmination of Apatow’s attempt to grow up as a filmmaker. The jury is mostly out on whether or not he’s succeeded, but the excellent soundtrack for Funny People speaks to the melancholy sense of humor that Apatow has employed in his latest film.

With songs from heavy-hitters like Robert Plant, Neil Diamond, James Taylor, and Warren Zevon (not to mention a solo track from every Beatle except for George Harrison) this is a lineup of musicians that is not to be scoffed at. Star Adam Sandler submits two solid performances (one a live version of John Lennon’s “Real Love”, the other more familiar Sandler fare, a slightly nonsensical track performed in character in the film “George Simmons Soon Will Be Gone”). Sandler’s not the only actor showcased here, though: costar Jason Schwartzman’s one-man band Coconut Recordsis featured on the album twice – and both “Wires” and “I Am Young” are impressive musical performances that blend in perfectly with the melancholy vibe here. Finally, Maude Apatow (daughter of director Judd and wife/star Leslie Mann) expertly performs “Memory” from the Broadway show Cats. And though this track doesn’t necessarily fit in with the rest of the album, the young Apatow has some powerful pipes that deserve to be showcased.

An acoustic version of John Lennon’s “Watching the Wheels” wraps the album up and provides the perfect sense of rawness and finality. It’s interesting to note that the album opens with Paul McCartney’s “Great Day” and closes with Lennon’s track, providing a solid Beatles bookend layout. This is one of my favorite soundtracks I’ve heard in a while. It’s subtle but without being pretentious, and varies without being random. Highly recommended

Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: Fans of the Margot at the Wedding or Garden State soundtracks
Stay Away if: You’re looking for some fresh band that no one’s heard of yet

To purchase the soundtrack for Funny People, visit Amazon

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