At some point, some studio exec could have put his foot down and said, "Yes, Mr. Apatow. We understand that you're the golden 'It' boy right now. But you still need to edit down your 2.5 hour romantic comedy-drama down." Judd takes a whole lot of liberty with this movie, including extensive plot narrative with his real-life wife and children.
Don't get me too wrong. I LOVE Leslie Mann. As an actress and her character both bring me visions of women in my own life and I can swoon to th high heavens whenever she's on screen. And the film mostly works, even with these indulgences. But cuts could surely have been made.
Adam Sandler plays George, a movie star-comedian, not unlike himself, known for cutesy unsubstantial broad outrageous comedy. He's just found out that he has a form of leukemia and the prognosis is not good. He takes an assistant by way of Seth Rogan, a struggling upstart comedian. George begins their relationship very sincere. He's alone, family-less and facing his mortality with nothing to show for it. When his treatment seems to work, he begins to actively pursue his first love. A woman who has since married and had two daughters.
The stand-up scenes are fine. But the true comedic moments are the points in between. Ira's banter with his more-successful roommates, especially the excellent douchbaggery of Jason Schwartzman. There's also a great scene aside where George is celebrating his recovery at a restaurant with a lot of cameo celebrities, with an awesomely angry Eminem.
From there the movie runs toward the romantic. And while it's awkward, it's purposefully so. George is enamored and excited to be alive, but he's also selfish and not tuned to intimacy and doesn't understand the family element that his ex has grown into. It's hard to imagine how to finish the film without this angle, but nonetheless, the third act is what needed to be cut down.
Seth Rogan is hard to take sometimes. But his general chuckly goofiness is played down for a more nervous, timid Seth, which is helpful. He may be the weakest link of the movie, but his character is also the weakest link among the remaining characters that he calls friends.