It’s Kind of a Funny Story
“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” directors, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (“Half Nelson” and “Sugar”), portray this bright, ambitious, albeit, a little bit too wrapped up in himself, teenager in a film based on Ned Vizzini’s young adult novel of the same title.
Craig Gilner (Keir Gilchrist) is a depressed teenager obsessing about his high school career at the prestigious Executive Pre-Professional and their expectations of greatness, his seemingly perfect best friend, and his best friend’s gorgeous girlfriend—also known as his lack of romantic and sexual endeavors.
One morning, everything seems too much for him to handle and he bikes to the Brooklyn Bridge contemplating suicide. Unable to make the jump, he checks himself into a mental hospital where he meets Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), his soon-to-be mentor.
Casting Galifianakis as Bobby makes the movie what it is. He offers more depth to the story as we see a broken man trying to get back on his feet with the deadpan comedy that only Galifianakis can pull off. Bobby is a sort of father figure to Craig—showing his tenderness that isn’t seen to Bobby’s actual family that we meet briefly, and encouraging Craig to talk with Noelle (Emma Roberts), a trouble teen in the mental hospital for self-mutilation. Emma Roberts depicts her part well, even wearing an “I Hate Boys” shirt on Craig and hers first meeting. Props to the costume designers.
With Bobby and Noelle’s help, a whole cast of off-the wall- patients, and the incessant hospital routine, Craig begins to realize that sometimes what’s in your head isn’t as crazy as you think. However, along with a prolonging musical sequence and several movie clichés–Craig’s roommate stays in his bed all day every day; weathered movie goers know that Craig will be the one to help him get out and see beyond the white walled room – there are points in the movie where the audience wants to just move on and meet the happy ending.
Boden and Fleck’s film will give you the warm fuzzy feelings that all movie goers love without undermining the very real pressure that people feel today, of course, with a funny twist that only Gilchrist, Galifianakis, and Roberts could yield.