|It's Kind of a Funny Story|
It’s Kind of a Funny Story really isn’t that funny. The story by Director/Screenwriters Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, touches upon the anxieties and pressures of succeeding through the eyes of a teenager. Craig (Keir Gilchrist) is on the verge of killing himself and decides to get help, being admitted to the Hospital for five days where he encounters all sorts of comical characters like Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), Johnny (Adrian Martinez) and Humble (Matthew Maher). In each of their flaws, we find some sort of comic relief, but Bobby is a bit of an enigma. He seems to be absorbed in helping others and being opinionated about them, diverting focus from his own personal problems.
Craig meets Noelle (Emma Roberts) at the Hospital and they both develop a bit of an attraction to one another, however Craig has lingering feelings for his best friend’s girlfriend Nia (Zoe Kravitz) and is torn between his feelings for both. At the same time his feelings of anxiety keep resurfacing as he realizes that after his five day stay at the Hospital, he will have to re-join the real world again.
Gilchrist who was only 17 years old when this film was made, delivers a solid performance as does Galifianakis who offers his gold standard of quirkiness. Roberts hardly gets enough room to work with here which is a shame, as she fails to impress in roles as “the troubled girl” (i.e. Limelyfe, What’s Wrong with Virginia) – but it’s clear the potential is there.
Where It’s Kind of a Funny Story falls flat is that it wants to have heart but never delves deep enough into its hero’s psyche or the minds of the characters we should care about in order to make this journey worthwhile. We do not get a sense of a resolve at the end of the story. Are we to assume that falling in love resolves all life problems? In the end, we learn through Craig, the importance of finding one's own direction and voice, which hardly is eye-opening or insightful.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story hits theatres October 8, 2010 via Focus Features/Alliance Films in Canada. Grade: C