It’s Kind of a Funny Story is kind of a funny movie opening this weekend. Not as funny as I hoped, but funny enough to be a nice way to spend an hour and a half.
It’s Ferris Bueller, if he was trapped in Cuckoo’s Nest instead of a high school. And no, he won’t have to deal with electroshock therapy, either. He gets to do fun stuff like order pizza, draw pictures of beavers, and scam on Emma Roberts – the niece of Julia Roberts.
It does kind of bother me that kids and relatives of actors get these roles that thousands of actors have to audition for and never get (I still can’t figure out how Jim Belushi even has a career).
Lenny Kravitz’s daughter is another example. She plays an adorable girl helping this boy through his problems. I didn’t care for her performance in Twelve a few months back. She’s perfect in this.
The boy is played by Keir Gilchrist (United States of Tara). He’s perfect for the role as an awkward and confused young man that we’re always rooting for.
Zach Galifianakis is great in a low-key performance with just the right amount of warmth and humor, although the few bursts of anger don’t fit well with how the story is going.
I was thinking, with Tony Curtis dying recently, how the studio made him change from his name of Bernard Schwartz. What would that studio have thought of Galifianakis having that name in the credits?
Zach is the new Black! He’s rivaling Jack Black for the fat, bearded best friend parts. I have a feeling that the ending involving him was changed from its original (I can’t explain more without giving things away).
On the subject of comedians, Jim Gaffigan (one of my favorite comedians), is miscast here. I want to laugh when he opens his mouth, but you’re not supposed to. He’s an overbearing father, who doesn’t seem sympathetic to the plight of his son. He just continues pushing.
I’m guessing people that work in the mental health field won’t care for the light-hearted approach this picture takes. And they’ll be right.
One of my pet peeves with movies is when they aren’t realistic, and there’s really nothing realistic about this story. Yet, I found it charming and humorous enough that I was along for the ride.
These writer/directors gave us Sugar and the dark Half-Nelson, both are way better films; but this is pleasant enough.
I give it a few extra points for having a fun Queen sequence when they sing Under Pressure (weird, but the spy movie Farewell did a very similar thing with the same exact song last year). The soundtrack also gives us a great Ida Maria tune.
Easy A is your better bet for a smart, teen comedy.
I’m giving this movie a C+.