Review: It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2011)

It’s Kind of a Funny Story is comedy drama film starring Keir Gilchrist (The Rocker), Zach Galifianakis (Due Date), Emma Roberts (Nancy Drew), Viola Davis (Doubt) and Zoe Kravitz (Assassination of a High School President). The film is directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson).

The film is based on a 2006 novel of the same name by American Ned Vizzini. The book is inspired by the authors own experience for going into hospital for depression in 2004.

The basic plot outline of the film is depressed teenager, Craig (Keir Gilchrist) is admitted into a psychiatric hospital after contemplating suicide to get help. After being admitted and seeing the other patients he realises that he’s made a mistake and wants to leave but that’s foiled due to a minimum five day psych evaluation. Craig is introduced to Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), an adult patient that seems to get on with Craig and shows him the ropes around the Ward. Craig catches the eyes of another teenage patient in Noelle (Emma Roberts) who seems to be in for self-harming due to the scars on her body. Craig develops a close bond with Noelle and Bobby as we see the separate relationships progress. Throughout the film we see Craig become looser and relaxed as he comes to term with his depression and with the support from Bobby, Noelle and other patients he is able to be comfortable with himself.

Keir Gilchrist does an alright job as the awkward depressed sixteen year old but I didn’t really feel that much sympathy for him, I felt he was lacking in the acting department but he’s young and i’m sure we’ll see more of him the future. Zach Galifianakis character I quite enjoyed if i’m honest, much better than in the disappointed Due Date. I felt he does well in these supporting roles in the background that keeps the story and pace of the film moving. Emma Roberts is the love interest in the film but to be fair she didn’t actually play that much a big part, you often forgot that she was in the film as it seemed more screen time with Gilchrist and Galifianakis was on display.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story is more like an alright story. I was fully expecting more laughs, it was amusing but not on the scale from trailers and title of the film. It did have the odd solid laugh but that was it. Whilst watching it though I couldn’t help but not think of two films it reminded me off, felt like (500) Days of Summer mixed with Diary of a Wimpy Kid that produced a lighter Indie version of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest which is no bad thing.

Overral I enjoyed the film but it’s more Drama than laughter and it’s worth the hour and half minutes of your day. I’m giving it 3/5.


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