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It's Kind of a Funny Story (Movie)

A movie directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck

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"My name is Solomon".

  • Feb 15, 2011
*** 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 this film mainly because I like the cast, and my friends were telling me good things about it. As it turns out, it's a good film. Not a great one, but I do like the clever balancing of humor, romance, and the emotional disturbance of a troubled mind. I think it's safe to say that most of us have a friend that's a little "crazy", and this is a film for us people that do. However, anyone else won't get the film, leaving them in the dust. It is what most will not like about this film or, on the contrary, it will be what runs the film for them. This film is all about your personal experience with the flick, and whether you like it or not, it's not as bad as some people seem to think it is. In fact, it's not bad at all. The film feels and looks good enough to appeal to any person who puts their senses to good use, and there were scenes when the film had me almost involved on an emotional level. The film never gets overly sappy and melodramatic (in fact, the character pauses the film at one time to prevent any sappiness from actually happening), and I kind of like what directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden have done. They have taken a good novel and successfully adapted it into something rather impressive; a film that certainly has flaws and is most certainly not art, but as entertainment, I'd say it's pretty damn good. This film is a good ol' slice of life-appreciation; nothing more or nothing less. And I have to admit; that's good enough for me. "It's Kind of a Funny Story" is essentially better than what's out there in terms of romantic comedies, and it almost surprised me when I figured out how solid the thing was. It's no "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". But does it really need to be? No, I don't think so. The film is good in its own little way, and it has enough moments of raw fascination and craft that I can virtually forgive it of most of its flaws. Just sit back and enjoy.

This film owes a lot to bigger and better films set in mental hospitals, but it actually works for what it is. The film centers on a male teen named Craig; who is feeling depressed and rather suicidal. Thus, he takes it upon himself to check in to a local mental hospital. He is a soul hoping to be cured; a human looking for help. Upon arriving, Craig meets some of the other patients; one of which is Bobby, who most will recognize as "Zack Galifianakis' character". Craig also has his eyes on one of the other teens; a girl named Noelle. The film is essentially about his stay in the Hospital over the course of a few days. I suppose its fine to say that most humans communicate at best because they have similar issues and similar interests. This is the case with Craig and Bobby; Craig and Noelle. Each one gets along with the other because they seem to understand each-other well, and strangely enough, this makes for some pretty decent characters. While the story could have done without so much darned clichés, "It's Kind of a Funny Story" is never deprived of its entertainment value. It's still as funny and at times dead-serious as it wants to be; and for the first time in a while, such a mix of emotions and styles actually works. I liked this film because for a lot of the time, it got over its little clichés. The only scenes in the film that annoyed me WERE the ones with the clichés; everything else runs as smoothly as a new Computer. It's no classic, and it's no masterpiece. But it's good, and I admire the craft that went into it. I say it's good.

Keir Gilchrist has an endearing charm to his performance, in this film at least. Its part of what makes the film watchable; and it's also what makes some of the humor so dead-pan funny. It's nothing too memorable, but Gilchrist handles his mentally tortured character with a truly exceptional amount of care. But who really stands out here is Zach Galifianakis, whose performance in this film is...how should I say it? Different? That's the only word that can truly describe it. Galifianakis has earned himself a reputation as the quirky guy; the man that's there for nothing more than a little comic relief. He's not too far in his career, but it's safe to say that so far, he hasn't had a particularly bad role. At least when speaking of the main-stream stuff he's done. Anyways, his performance in this film is not intended for humor. It's meant to be honest and sweet; and often times emotional. There is some depth to Galifianakis' character; depth that is alas, never fully explored. But I liked his character anyways. Emma Roberts also gives a pretty solid performance, and some of the minor actors (most playing patients) stood out as comic relief to me. I laughed; but never cried. Convenient.

I dedicate this review to a friend of mine. He went through a similar experience to that of the film's character, and he is also the person who got me to watch this overall solid film. "It's Kind of a Funny Story" is indeed quite funny; at least whenever it wants to be. There are big laughs, and then there are little ones. And then there are times when the film isn't funny at all. Most of the time, I felt that the film wanted to be sort of heartfelt; but it never knew quite how to get the inner emotions of the story out in the right ways. Don't get me wrong; I was really entertained by this film. I admire the craft put into the production, and I also liked the sense of humor that it had. But it's not perfect; not nearly. To make a film as this perfect, you need emotion and all-out lunacy. This film has neither; but it blends heartfelt moments with humor so well. So well in fact that it elevates itself from "generic" to "pretty damn good". It's not one of 2010's best films, but it's a pleasant break from all the crap that came out in that year. And in ways, I appreciate the film's existence. But if you want memorable psychiatric-hospital entertainment, then I suggest you look elsewhere. This is entertainment; but not in the memorable sense. But the film is uplifting and energetic enough to keep me interested and hooked. I quite enjoyed myself.

This film is very endearing, and films with this much charm usually strike me as good. There are always films that a movie will borrow from, but you don't need originality to make a film work. This film is not original, and it's not nearly perfect. But as a film with character and a story going on, it's actually well-done. I think that the two directors can do better, but they have successfully transformed a clichéd premise that calls for cliché humor and characters into an interesting, engaging film. You will laugh, and if you're extremely generic, you may cry. The highlight of the film is indefinitely a scene where Craig visualizes a cover of David Bowie's "Under Pressure", and Galifianakis' performance is one of the best of his career. I liked how the film was put together, and it's good enough to recommend. If you're bored and you want a "happy" film with a "happy" ending and such, see this film. It's never generic and it's never boring. Some will find it only mildly entertaining, and that's OK. It has somewhat of a limited appeal. But in a world where we've all seen worse, there's much to appreciate. The film is funny and fresh; both which are film elements seldom seen. I say see the film, no matter who you are, since it will most likely interest the majority of its audience. The atmosphere feels good and yes, I may even watch the film again. It's good a whole lot of good going for it. And that's what makes it worth the time it requires.

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February 23, 2011
I actually have this right here next to me, I need to check it out.
February 25, 2011
February 18, 2011
I have this one on my queve....thanks!
February 19, 2011
More It's Kind of a Funny Story (mo... reviews
review by . October 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Not So Funny After All
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 …
Quick Tip by . November 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … 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.
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Movies, Drama Movies, Comedy Movies, Upcoming Releases, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham, Its Kind Of A Funny Story


Director: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: 24 September 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Studio: Focus Features
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"Not So Funny After All"
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