Funny People was the latest in Judd Apatow's ongoing series of summer comedies, but it was anything but a typical summer comedy: following a successful comedian (played by Apatow's longtime friend Adam Sandler) who reflects on his life after discovering he's going to die, the film offered lots of humor but with decidedly heavier themes lurking beneath the yuks. The film debuts on Blu-ray in a 2-Disc Collector's Edition next week, and the contents are amazing, showing how Apatow combined lighthearted fare with more serious ideas in the service of exploring something substantive.
Cinematical was lucky enough to catch up with Apatow via telephone one recent morning to discuss the process of putting together the film's home video iteration. In addition to discussing the bonus materials, extras, featurettes, and a documentary that's the most thorough and thoughtful ever produced about a comedy production, Apatow talked about finding the right ending for his magnum opus, discovering and deconstructing the process of producing laughs, and front-loading the film's universe with outside content about the supporting characters.
Cinematical: One of the ideas highlighted in the Blu-ray bonus materials was the fact that you knew this was going in a different direction than your previous films. Even knowing that while you were making it, were you surprised by the reactions of audiences and critics when it was released? Or does it matter?