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It’s Kind of a Funny Story (2010)

Screenplay and Directed by Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden

  Craig (Keir Gilchrist) believes himself to be troubled. Having been 1 out of 800 of the smartest around the surrounding boroughs in attendance at his school came with too much added pressure at times. His father George, (Jim Gaffigan) usually busy with work, was more interested in Craig turning in his summer school application for a prestigious experience, sure to help with college and his future. Except that it wasn’t what made him happy and in part had developed some sort of stress vomiting which didn’t help his and his father’s communication. It also didn’t help that he had gotten a crush on Nia, (Zoë Kravitz) who was as his best friend’s (Aaron; Thomas Mann) girlfriend. At 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning, Craig walked into a Hospital and said he wanted to kill himself. Initially wanting nothing more than a quick fix and even having to convince the staff of being admitted.

  Introduced to Bobby (Zach Galifianakis) after told of his at least 5 day stay, no more than 30, he’s shown around and seems to take an immediate interest in Noelle (Emma Roberts) when seeing her through a window. We also meet such patients as Solomon (Daniel London) who had been a part of the Jewish acid scene and had taken 100 tabs one night and ever since, taken to silence and preferred to be left in his room. Craig’s roommate Muqtada (Bernard White) seemed to believe staying in bed was the best thing he could do, alarmed by any company and only admitted interest being Egyptian music, not easily found around their vicinity. At first getting off on the wrong foot with Noelle, is asked to play the question game after lending a hand to Bobby for his interview the following day. While never asked why she had been in the hospital, the scars on her face and arms were a clear enough indication. Craig was obviously intimidated by girls in general but had tried to convince her of being different; this all before her hearing him shout to someone else that he loved them.

  After hearing of an automatic stay he had asked his parents to make sure no one from his school knew of his real location. Which eventually is foiled after speaking with Nia a little about the situation and she divulges the information to Aaron and a couple other kids at school. Nia pretends to like Craig because of his “mature” problems and being truly screwed up, what a compliment! Surprising him one day and stating how her and Aaron had broken up, ready to get over him by getting under Craig. Trouble looming when his stress vomiting arises again with Muqtada catching them on his bed and beginning to freak out from the sight (but nothing serious going on, it is PG-13). His solution being to shout that he loved her just as Noelle had walked up behind him to give him a present. Things eventually going back to normal after apologizing profusely and making up for it by playing Doctor (no, not that kind of game…pervs). The whole thing has its definite moments of whiz all around but tis to be expected if you see enough of these “Independent” dramatic romantic/comedies. The script is certainly aware of itself as well. In that at the end when he does leave the Hospital his voice-over states how him being completely better was utterly impossible. But a start nonetheless and that he now had a better appreciation for life and knew that we were all screwed up. An important factor being to just breath…and live. Can you imagine the cheese dripping out of the ending?

  Keir Gilchrist certainly was a good choice for the role. However I did like his character in The United States of Tara a bit more, though the writing was what seemed to lack the further the series went forth. Emma Roberts is known more for her “kiddy” roles though did star in Scream 4. However I cannot see her in future Horror films unless perhaps a psychological thriller of some sort. I hope to also see her in other Focus Feature films or ones where she’s able to show some more of that talent I know she has within. Some good side Actor’s but the comedy mostly being subtle and with the help of Smitty, (Jeremy Davies) Johnny (Adrian Martinez) and a small bit by Humble (Matthew Maher) sticking out over anyone else:

Though my favorite part would easily be when they have a random dance number, because I always don’t mind those so much.

Plus I loved Zach Galifianakis and his hair/glittery beard. As well as the pink glitter they put him in Noelle’s scars. Galifianakis easily stealing the show in the film. Typically known for his off the wall comedy, was able to show a side with immense promise, that I also hope is further explored by him in later films. The back-story with his character being that while he did have a wife and daughter, had tried to kill himself 6 times and was recently preparing for an interview to stay in a group home. Unfortunately it went terribly wrong and his response being a truly sad moment to witness while he had been mostly maintaining as the “sane” voice for a lot of what went on. He could then be just as funny while in conversation with the other actors as well. There’s one instance in which him and Craig are able to play basketball in the gym and they speak for a bit about Noelle and their situation, if even able to call that. With the help from Bobby, the two rehearse what would be said if he was to ask her out on a date. Craig’s character does eventually find a healthy outlet in drawing and there are certain playful moments used throughout the film that were an added plus. Whenever Craig was asked a question he would indulge in these bizarre daydreams and created great drawings that were maps of the chaos in which he found himself in the middle of. The ending wraps up with a pizza party, which is regularly discussed through the film. While everyone dances and has fun on Bobby and Craig’s last night, he finds it upon himself to help out his roommate and asks for a specific record to be brought in by his father. What could he possibly have gotten? An Egyptian record he asked Smitty to put on and to just trust him. After a few minutes we see Muqtada emerge and begin to dance as he finally comes around. I mean…I’ve seen a lot worse. Certainly worth one watch.