Thursday, August 13, 2009

"FUNNY PEOPLE" (not) & JUDD APATOW

I'm liable to rant too long about director Judd Apatow's latest movie "Funny People", which we saw this week. Both I and my husband found it to be one of the worst we've seen in a long time. We shared a feeling near to insult at the level of gratuitous crudeness; this time it went beyond Apatow's usual appetite for schoolboy lavatory humor and anatomy jokes.

In an LA Times interview Apatow said of "Funny People":

"It's a mentor story. It's a disease movie. It's a coming-of-age movie. It's a movie about trying to restart an old romance. It's 11 different movies rolled into one."
We beg to differ. It's an insulting, asinine movie, dealing with none of the above issues with anything resembling intelligence.

Is this what American humor has come to? It's a sad reflection on the intelligence level of the general public. The USA has produced some brilliant comedians of all stripes: Robin Williams, Rita Rudner, George Carlin, Jack Benny, Gilda Radner, Gene Wilder, Martin Short....I could go on. The genes are there. Judd Apatow should be well-capable of producing and directing quality comedy. Is it a supply and demand thing? Have we become so moronic that the ability to differentiate between quality and garbage is now lost?

What happened? Where are the 21st century's witty, clever romantic comedies? The last ones I recall came from the UK, more than a decade or so ago, "Four Weddings and a Funeral", "Notting Hill", for example.

Judd Apatow was born on 6 December 1967 in Flushing, New York. I can find no time of birth so have set the chart for 12.00noon.



I should like this guy. He has a lovely combination of Sagittarius Sun and Aquarius Moon....could be one of my favourite mixes. Ruled by Jupiter and Uranus this Sun/Moon combination has the potential to produce feel-good, modern, inventive movies. It doesn't happen though.
Overdoses of crude anatomy references or sexual jokes, largely insulting to females, do not make for a feel-good factor. Is there any indication in Apatow's natal chart as to why he insists on following this pattern. His earlier movies, "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year old Virgin" followed a similar but generally milder template. "Funny People" takes insult to another level.

So where's the astrological snag?

Starting at Mercury (planet of mental process and communication) at 1 Sagittarius, move clockwise to Jupiter at 5 Virgo - a challenging square aspect: any happy-go-lucky feel is blighted by this Sagittarius/Virgo square. Move on clockwise to Saturn (planet of restriction, conservatism etc.) at 5 Aries, forming a scratchy quincunx to Jupiter (so happy-go-luckyness is under a further challenge); it also forms a trine to Mercury, thus influencing mind processes towards a more dour tone. The chain continues to Mars at 3 Aquarius, in sextile to Saturn, adding potential for aggression to the dour tone, and forming a further quincunx to a trying-to-be-benign Jupiter. Mars is also in sextile to our staring point, Mercury in Sagittarius.

Jupiter, rules Sagittarius, Apatow's Sun and Mercury sign, and in this case, poor old Jupiter is well and truly punked. This is further emphasised by the Yod (Finger of Fate formation) with the Mars/Saturn sextile feeding into two quincunx aspects to Jupiter. Astrologers consider that this type of formation indicates that the "flavours" of the sextiled planets are channeled through the planet at the apex of the Yod - in this case, Jupiter fed by Mars and Saturn, two planets which are not inherently bad, but together their energy could very easily dampen Jupiter's natural tendencies.

The humour of Judd Apatow isn't as "feel-good" as Jupiterian humour ought to be. His brand of "fun" has a touch of bitterness, a touch of aggression and disrespect towards his audience and his fellow humans in general. To my mind, this is reflected in his natal chart.

My opinion only, of course. If a passing reader found "Funny People" to be a hoot, please - ignore my rant. To each his own!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you about 'Funny People'! What an insult to our intelligences.

I thought it was a bunch of rubbish from beginning to end - I almost walked out of the theatre. The level of sexual and general humour totally shows where America is at - very sad.

Twilight said...

Hi Anonymous! Thanks for commenting - it's good to know we were not the only ones thinking this way. :-) Walking out crossed my mind too, early on - but I was convinced it couldn't go on in the same vein - but it did.

Wisewebwoman said...

I gave up on Judd a long time ago, T. I got sick and tired of these man-children refusing to grow up.
I can't believe he's finding an audience for his rubbish.
I'm currently rewatching all of Michael Powell's refurbished and restored films on DVD and lament there's not even a remote equal to his talent in today's slim pickings...
XO
WWW

anthonynorth said...

I haven't seen the film, but it figures. Modern comedy is fast hitting rock bottom. There are a few younger ones who are funny, certainly, but the general trend is so bad I'm loath to call it comedy.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ I'm not familiar with Michael Powell's work. I consulted Wikipedia and note that he was British and from an era now long gone. I do enjoy a few British movies of the 1940/50s but the strained aristocratic-sounding accents and stiff characters always prevent me from concentrating on the story.

It was only after what they called "the kitchen sink dramas", John Osborne's etc. arrived with attendant regional accents and looser characters that I really started to enjoy. :-)

Twilight said...

AnthonyNorth ~~~ It seems we're on a downward spiral where comedy (and music, in the main) are concerned. Or maybe it's just that I haven't kept up with modrern trends (in this case, nor do I want to). :-)

Laura said...

I totally agree with all the comments on here....modern comedy isnt like old comedy.

Twilight said...

Laura ~~~ It isn't - at least most of it isn't. There are occasional instances of real, good humored fun and clever wit, but few and far between.