It’s Kind of a Funny Story (Review)

IT’S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY
(10/8/10; Comedy, Drama)
Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Viola Davis, Zoë Kravitz, Aasif Mandvi, Lauren Graham, Jim Gaffigan
SCR/DIR: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
MPAA: PG-13 for mature thematic issues, sexual content, drug material and language.
1 hour 41 mins
BOX: $6,363,628

Stressed out teenager Craig (Keir Gilchrest) with thoughts of suicide takes himself to the hospital and ends up committed in the adult ward (the youth ward in under construction). He bonds with Bobby (Galifianakis), who becomes a mentor despite having his own issues; and Noelle (Roberts), a cutter and the only other teen in the ward.

For a while, the movie glides along with clever transitions and subversive humor that add insight to Craig’s back-story without demeaning or succumbing to the potential clichés. Galifianakis’ soulful performance is easily his best, and the movie could have used more of his story and less pedantic therapy scenes with Davis that only repeats Craig’s narration.

There is an imaginative fantasy sequence with the cast performing the Queen-David Bowie classic “Under Pressure” that not only acts as a nice break from the action but actually advances the plot. Even though the answers come easily, the movie has a lot to say about art and therapy and how sometimes it’s good to just look around every now and again to appreciate what you have.

(Focus)

— DENNIS WILLIS

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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