Zen Diaries is as private/self-reflective as any Apatow movie, and he makes use of his historical past/reflections with Shandling to supply a candy, affecting portrayal of this idiosyncratic character. Apatow’s familiarity with the interviewees, likewise, permits them to open up freely, giving us a real warts-and-all examination of Shandling’s tough-to-read inside dialogue.
Poring via many years of diaries, we achieve profound reflection, introspection, and nuance into Shandling’s legacy, character, and sense of self-worth. The outcomes are vulnerably emotional however not too sentimental or assumptive. While it is Apatow’s longest movie at 259 minutes, it is surprisingly investing and rewarding, regardless of its intense give attention to a deeply depressed, distressed particular person. Its beating coronary heart empowers— quite than detracts from —its emotional looking out. Shandling influenced almost each self-referential modern-comedy however not often discovered peace. Thankfully, Apatow supplies a beautiful, considerate, soulful tribute.