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It's Kind of a Funny Story
DVD disk
Mar 1, 2011 By: Johnny Moreno
It's Kind of a Funny Story order
Director:
Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Actors:
Keir Gilchrist
Zach Galifianakis
Emma Roberts

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young, disaffected high schooler (Gilchrist) checks himself into an adult psych ward after a suicide attempt. The ward gives the teen a five day evaluation during which he befriends and is mentored by the wise and kooky Bob (Galifinakis) and falls for the adorable, cutter (arenít all cutters adorable?) Noelle (Roberts).
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
This movie doesnít fail, as much as it merely exists. And thatís kind of a sad statement seeing as how the issue of teen suicide is still a major social concern and with these characters, it couldíve been handled in a more serious way. Not serious to the point of lecturing or grandstanding, but our young high school friend, Craig, isn't bringing any serious weight to the film. I initially didn't have that big of a hang up in terms of Craigís problems but the more I think about it, the more I find his problems that of a privileged New York City, upper east side kid that suffers from boredom. Craigís plight is supposed to illicit sympathy, or at least empathy: a young kid whoís pressured by his parents to fill out a college application, totally in love with his best friendís girlfriend, and lacks the self esteem to either go out and get what he wants, or to decide what he wants. I think we can relate to that on some level but so what? Whatís the point, other than to have the character show up in this psych ward and say, ďWell, I thought I was nuts but these people are REALLY nuts. I now appreciate all that is around me.Ē Who cares? What am I suppose to take away from this? Why do I keep asking questions to myself? But then I think, Iím probably the wrong demographic for this movie.

The movie is definitely skewing towards a younger audience, maybe 14-18. The dialogue is predictable, the scenarios are adolescent and the parents of Craig (that one Gilmore Girl and the great Jim Gaffigan) come off like caricatures from other movies that were much better. Keir Gilchrist, like many young actors Iíve noticed lately, comes off as aloof and bored. Maybe thatís how heís written, but I just didnít find anything about his hang-ups believable and Gilchrist did little to change my mind. Even if he is a little dramatic in his talks and half ass attempts at suicide, shouldnít he at the very least be moaning in a corner listening to My Chemical Romance? I saw so much potential for this character to dig himself a hole, dig himself out and change in a much more cathartic way, but all weíre given is a character whoís one major flaw is he spontaneously projectile vomits. Even then, a flaw or cool party trick? Lemons, lemonade, Craig. Letís do this, son.

As for the other actors, little Emma Roberts is pretty good here, playing an equally troubled teenager who sports some serious cuts on her face. Which makes her all the more attractive, of course (I got my sh!t going on, people). The back and forth between her and Craig is playful, fun, and then, like most of the movie, winds up being predictable and drifting into way too familiar territory. By far the best part of this is Zack Galifinakis. Just when I think heís spread himself too thin, he surprises me with a turn like this. The dude constantly impresses me with his abilities and as a huge fan of stand up comedy, I'm always happy when a funny dude makes it in the acting world. While Zack is definitely funny, heís not over the top or cartoony. He picks his spots to be funny and when itís time to hunker down and get serious, he delivers. His back story couldíve been a movie on its own and thatís what so frustrating about the movie. Thereís so much potential for this to be a really good, heartfelt painful yet moving film but it just winds up playing it too safe. Thatís fine if thatís the goal for the movie, but there are some really great moments with Zack and Craig, Zack and his family, and Zack on his own that if it were the right kind of movie, he couldíve garnered some major awards.

One thing I really enjoyed was the choice of hipster music which included The XX, Broken Social Scene, Method Man and Redman among others. I also like how in certain sequences, Craig narrates a past event while heís placed right in the situation. Itís a neat little touch thatís used a lot but I always get a kick out of it.
THE EXTRAS
A Look Inside Itís Kind of a Funny Story - A very brief (about 3 minutes) look inside with interviews with the directors, Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis and the lovely Emma Roberts.

Itís Kind of a Funny Story Premiere in New York City - Another very brief (about 2 minutes) behind the scenes video of the premiere in New York City with some red carpet interviews.

Deleted Scenes

Outtakes

FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Itís Kind of a Funny Story is the exact movie you think it is. The characters are exactly who you think they are and they say exactly what youíd think theyíd say. Youíve seen this before. Does it make it a bad movie? Not necessarily. Itís just kind of there.
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