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Matt's It's Kind-of a Funny Story Review

Updated on June 6, 2011

So, this one was another random library pick-up, I swear, sometimes when I roll the dice I come up with some good stuff – Sunshine Cleaning was pretty good.  I was in the mood for something off the beaten path, and relatively light – and while this film fits that bill, that doesn’t mean it was good.  “Its Kind-of a Funny Story” has some deep-seeded problems, many of which I intend to talk about at length.  Let’s start with the title though.  It’s a crappy title, it tells you nothing about the movie, and is ultimately meaningless and totally forgettable.  Right, let’s move on…

Observations

- Its Kind of a Funny Story falls into the comedy genre, but is neither witty enough to be funny, nor serious enough to be taken remotely seriously.

- I found the main premise rather ridiculous. Normally, I’m a fan of suspension of disbelief, and the roll with it theory of movie-watching, but what I can’t get past is the idea that no kid in his right mind would check himself into a psych ward if he wasn’t actually depressed. This character had no reason to feel remotely suicidal, but that, I think, was part of the point.

- There seems to be a second-string love story going on here, but the script is not good enough to make you root for it, and they don’t give it enough screen time to actually sell it.

- It drives me nuts when storytellers/filmmakers don’t understand their own material. Craig (the main character) is the most boring character in this film. That the filmmakers didn’t seem to understand that Bobby (Zach Galifianakis) and Noelle (Emma Roberts) were the more interesting parts of the story really irked me.

Performances

- Keir Gilchrist is nowhere near good enough to carry this film, and is repeatedly blown clean off the screen by Zach Galifianakis.

- Speaking of which, Zach Galifianakis is the single best part of this film, he steals the entire show right out from under Gilchrist. I will definitely be seeking out more of his films.

- Emma Roberts was charming in this, but she was in dire need of a better script, a better director, and a better actor than Gilchrist to act opposite. So she was good, but I’m convinced she’s capable of better.

Music, Cinematography and Special Effects

- They put some weird music in this film, but nothing that’s likely to jump out at anyone. Like the film itself, the music is relatively forgettable.

- What cinematography? It takes place in a mental ward! And I’ve seen much more convincing mental wards and hospitals.

- No special effects at all, although there was a goofy musical number – homage to 80s music videos, I assume.

The Bottom Line

Here’s the thing, the premise might’ve been amusing if the movie had been good enough to sell it to us.  It wasn’t.  With a stronger lead, and maybe a stronger director, this film might have worked.  Alas, it doesn’t.  Crappy title, and a mediocre film.  You want to see something that takes place on a mental ward?  Watch Girl, Interrupted, or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  4/10

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