Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Cast: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts
Sixteen year old Craig Gilner (Gilchrist) has checked himself into a psychiatric ward by mistake. It’s all getting a bit too much for him - he has a pushy father, a fragile mother, a genius kid sister, and he’s obsessed with his best friend's girlfriend. No wonder he stress-vomits. After failing to jump off the Brooklyn bridge, he checks himself into a psychiatric hospital, but he ends up in the adult ward as the teen ward is being renovated.
He is introduced to the characters of the ward; Bobby (Galifianakis), with whom he quickly forms a connection, Soloman (who has very sensitive hearing) and Muqtada (who refuses to leave his bed). He also meets another scarred teen staying in the adult ward: Noelle. She’s hot.
Craig realises almost immediately that he does not belong there, and his enforced five-day spell in the psych ward helps him to put his middle-class woes in perspective. He participates in the activities; there’s an unintelligible points system, a ping-pong table (but it’s pointless playing with anyone on meds), and also enriching sessions of art and music. He realises, in the end, he's just another mixed up teenager.
It’s a feel-good story, that feels somewhat familiar. But the charming characters and witty script pick up the slack. Galifiniakas leaves his loveable moron behind, and Gilchrist is surprisingly sympathetic for a poor little rich kid. It's Kind of a Funny Story is a lot lighter than the directors’ earlier work, particularly Half Nelson, and has fewer rough edges. There are touches of Wes Anderson, hints of Garden State, and more than a passing nod to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It is, however, ideal if you want a funny and intelligent film that doesn’t wear black, won't claim no-one understands it, and never cuts itself.
Mixed up, articulate and uplifting. Kind of.
- anna boden
- due date
- emma roberts
- half nelson
- keir gilchrist
- ryan fleck
- the hangover
- up in the air
- zach galifianakis