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FUNNY PEOPLE

Music Of The Film
For The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Apatow used an eclectic mix of '80s songs, as well as music from James Brown and Ashford & Simpson to Missy Elliott and Chaka Khan. For Knocked Up, he enlisted singer/poet Loudon Wainwright III to create the poetic soundtrack. In Funny People, the director goes in a different direction. Artist Michael Andrews has been composing for Apatow since their days together on Freaks and Geeks, and actor Jason Schwartzman got his first shot at composing for a film. The collaboration turned out better than anyone could have hoped.

Longtime Apatow collaborator, music supervisor Jonathan Karp, believes the music in Funny People gives the actors a chance to address their characters and situations nonverbally. He says, "There's a moment when Ira and George drive home from San Francisco, after things go wrong for George, where they're sitting in silence in the car…and then we see them in their homes going to bed. You see their faces and they're clearly unhappy, and the music conveys all the emotion of that. You don't need words. The music also helps illustrate a lot of what George went through with his illness.”

Multihyphenate JON BRION, who scored Sandler's Punch-Drunk Love, was brought on to the production to produce George's music. At one point in the film, George hires the musician to play at his home when he thinks he's dying. Fortunately for all, Sandler is a bit of an accomplished musician himself. Apatow states: "The idea was that this very rich person pays Jon Brion to jam. It's a great moment where you see an emotional montage, and the music is really beautiful and warm. We shot a lot of songs with just Adam and Jon Brion, and then with Adam, Jon and a band.”

Karp adds, "The jam session became a bigger thing while making the movie. We ended up doing 8 or 10 different songs that we recorded to see which ones were going to work out the best. In the jam session scenes, Adam plays with Jon, and JAMES GADSON plays the drums. He is an amazing drummer most famous for the years spent with Bill Withers; and SEBASTIAN STEINBERG plays bass in those sessions.”

When choosing the right music for Sandler and Brion to collaborate on to help tell the story, Karp admits: "We ended up in Beatlesesque territory. The songs we performed were ‘Real Love' by John Lennon, and there's the Beatles version, of course. We've got a version of ‘Photograph' by Ringo Starr. Some others were ‘Heart Needs a Home' by Richard Thompson and ‘I Saw the Light' by Todd Rundgren. We found songs that showed a vulnerable aspect of Adam's character when he's performing alone. Ultimately, we used ‘Real Love.' Many of the extra songs we recorded will be on our soundtrack and DVD.”

One of the other big musical days shot for Funny People was when JAMES TAYLOR and his band played at a MySpace convention where George and Ira perform. Says Apatow: "James Taylor is super funny. You think about James Taylor like he's been around since we were born. There's no part of our consciousness where we didn't hear those songs with our families.”

Rogen believes that his director engineered some scenes simply so he could have fun. He says, "James Taylor was a funny joke in the movie, but he didn't need to play for four and a half hours. That was so Judd could watch James Taylor.”

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