Thursday, October 21, 2010

"It's Kind of a Funny Story" - in theaters

The previews for this film really set it up as a comedy. Some over-stressed kid checks himself into a psychiatric facility for a few days and meets a cast of characters that includes Zack Galifianakis and the lovely Emma Roberts.

That's not really the case.

The story centers around Craig (Keir Gilchrist), an overachieving high school student with his fair share of problems: pressure from his father, asshole-ish friends, unrequited love, and a tendency towards depression. He has dreams of jumping off a bridge, and finally, one Sunday morning, he decides to do something about it by checking himself into a hospital. He is reluctantly admitted by the hospital staff, and by the time they tell him that not only is the teen ward under construction but that he will be sharing a room with an Egyptian man who hasn't left said room in 2 months, he's all ready to get out of there. Unfortunately they have to keep him for 5 days, so Craig prepares himself for the worst.

What happens is that he meets Bobby (Zack Galifianakis), who takes him under his wing by showing him around and introducing him to some people. Bobby is more concerned about Craig's welfare than his own at points, and Galifianakis is so understated that it's incredible. Gone is the wild guy from "The Hangover"; rather, he is presented here as a legitimate, controlled actor. It was great to see him in this type of role. And guess what? He's still funny!

Craig also meets Noelle (Emma Roberts) a teen whose been there for 21 days for cutting. He notices her right off, but is hesitant because he still feels that he has the hots for his best friend's girlfriend, Nia (Zoe Kravitz). But of course, you find out that Nia pretty much blows, as does his best friend, Aaron (Thomas Mann), and that the people that he's meeting in the psych ward are more authentic than he could have ever hoped.

Viola Davis plays Craig's therapist, and to be honest, she didn't bring much to her character. I agree with Entertainment Weekly's conclusion in that a lesser known actor should have been brought in to add some zest to the role.

So on the CWeave scale, I rate this movie a 7. It's very funny in some places, and heartwarming in others. It also makes me wonder if a psych ward isn't such a bad idea for a vacation spot to gain some perspective on life. I'm just sayin'...

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