IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY Written and Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck Starring Keir Gilchrist, Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham and Zach Galifianakis
Craig: I want to kill myself. Nurse: Fill this out.
I have to begin by saying that IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY is not really a funny story at all. In fact, it isn’t even that funny. It tries to be, and on occasion it can be, but the reason it isn’t is pretty simple. It shouldn’t be. This is the story of a supposedly suicidal teenager who checks himself into a mental hospital for fear he won’t be able to hold on much longer. Last I checked clinical depression bordering on suicide wasn’t a laughing matter and mental wards were not warm and fuzzy places where teens could come of age.
When writing/directing team, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, first tackled depression and isolation, they gave us the harrowing indie drama, HALF NELSON, which earned Ryan Gosling an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of a crack-addicted, high school teacher. It was bleak, honest and raw. Just a few short years later though, they have seemingly lost all integrity as artists and their ability to be truthful to their own story and directorial instincts. From the moment Craig (Keir Gilchrist) enters the adult mental ward (the adolescent ward was conveniently undergoing renovations to allow for more implausibility and hopeful hilarity), everything feels false. Despite the fact that Craig’s problems amounts to girl troubles and pressure from his Dad (Jim Gaffigan) to get into the right college, he is admitted for a week. It takes him about a day to realize that his problems are really nothing compared to his new neighbours, allowing for six more days of learning valuable life lessons from adorable and endearing mental patients. They’re crazy, but who isn’t really?
If Craig doesn’t really need to be there, I’m not sure why Boden and Fleck think that their audience will feel any need to be there either. The ensemble do their best to comply, including a surprisingly restrained performance from Zach Galifianakis and a refreshingly vibrant one from Lauren Graham, but ultimately, they look lost, unable to figure out why they’re there too. There is humour in pain and we can be found when we are amongst the most lost but by making light of the dark places these patients go, Boden and Fleck only come off as lost themselves.
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*** out of **** While I have no doubts that "It's Kind of a Funny Story" will just come and go with ease, I kind of liked the film myself. As a film about mental patients staying in a Hospital, it's not quite as deep as it needs to be. And as a film abundant with clichés, it doesn't suck. So there you go; "It's Kind of a Funny Story" is a film meant for those who can look past its little flaws and look at how fun, entertaining, and often times uplifting the film is. I watched … more
I really loved "It's kind of a funny story" I think the characters with mental illness are so interesting. I do tend to love these sort of movies. I went with a friend and my 22yr old daughter. I think I liked it better than they did but we all enjoyed this movie
Hello Lunchers. I am a thirty-something guy making his way in Toronto. I am a banker by day and a film critic the rest of the time. Sensitive, sharp and sarcastic are just a few words that start with … more
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It's Kind of a Funny Story is an upcoming comedy-drama film directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. The screenplay was adapted by Boden and Fleck from Ned Vizzini's 2006 novel of the same name. The film stars Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts and Viola Davis. It will be released in the United States on October 8, 2010.
The film is centred around Craig (Keir Gilchrist), a 16-year old who, after a bout of depression, checks himself into a mental health clinic.