Friday, October 15, 2010

It's Kind of a Funny Story: Movie Review


A well written, light-hearted teen drama.
It's Kind of a Funny Story is an aptly titled film. It's just a story, and it's kind of funny. It's more drama than comedy, and although it was slow, they really did drag me into the story. Keir Gilchrist stars as Craig, a teenager who thinks about killing himself and seeks help. He finds help at an adult psychiatric ward. 2011

Directed and Screenplay by: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

Starring: Keir Gilchrist

Zach Galifianakis (left) and Keir Gilchrist (right)
star in writer/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck's
IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY, an Alliance Films' release.
Craig was feeling the pressure of being a teenager, didn’t think he could handle it, and thought he just might bail on life. He checks himself into a mental hospital. What we might see as being pro-active, the system sees as a serious problem. Craig thinks he just over-reacted and decides to leave (after all, he’s there of his own volition), but he’s not allowed and must stay for five days, and due to construction in the juvenile section, he must stay in the adult wing.

In this psych ward, where who knows if he really belongs, he meets compatriots Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), teen girl Noelle (Emma Roberts), and roommate Muqtada (Bernard White), confined to a bed.

Is Zach Galifianakis a doctor or a patient? Like Robin Williams in the beginning of Patch Adams, he blurs the line well. Galifianakis’ Bobby sees himself as a mentor, a leader of the mentally ill, but of course the doctors see that very differently. He delivers that same type of off-beat humour that we have come to expect from him, but a softer approach that finally serves him well.

I was also quite impressed with Emma Roberts who plays a love interest for our teenage hero. A smart, shy girl, who could be a good match for our young hero, but she’s trying to over-come a whole host of self-destructive tendencies. In a smart move, they kept Roberts' reasons for being in the psych ward concealed.

This is a teen drama about teen problems, told in a light-hearted kind of way, and it's ultimately a great film. It can take a while to connect to Craig, and these cartoon sequences which writers and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck would randomly throw in can throw the tone of the movie off, but at its heart, it’s a cute, heart-warming, kind of funny story. Other reviewers compared it to a teen version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Boden and Fleck have compared it to John Hughes' films, and I would also recommend it to fans of Charlie Bartlett.
Best of 2010


Submarine (2010) - Fresh, funny and twisted turns to this quirky coming-of-age tale.