From Judd Apatow’s Funny People (2009).
The last shot of Funny People always troubled me. Apatow’s daring and uncompromising portrayal of Adam Sandler’s megalomaniac ‘George Simmons’ is neutered by a gesture of humility when he meets with Rogen’s character on his own turf, a supermarket deli. However, even if Apatow’s mise en scène isn’t meticulous or the source of what’s great in his cinema (as Richard Brody points out, his genius is to put funny people on camera), Funny People certainly reveals that at times he can be visually careful, and this last shot clearly is. I now realize the intention of this shot, as it it pulls back, minimizing the two comic leads, and figuring them within a frame where they become dominated by real life & real people. Apatow, on several levels, has spent the film explaining what it is to be a comic—the good, the bad, and the ugly side of it. Finally, he is able to situate these types of people he has distinguished back into the real world, into the background, just people.