Despite the pleasant, loopy energy and fine performances -- Galiflanakis conjures a surprisingly sad character, and I grew fond of Gilchrist, with his impenetrable black eyes and rosebud mouth -- you walk out of it shaking your head.
... limp and phony and cute, smothered in fantasy sequences... depicting serious mental illness as a series of charming quirks or stick-on makeup scars, peddling the same tired obligatory but-wait-maybe-it's-we-who-are-the-crazy-ones clichés.
If there's a psych ward for motion pictures, It's Kind of a Funny Story should check itself in. Boden and Fleck's film suffers from bipolar disorder: manic and silly one minute, moody and muted the next.
The kid's problems are less interesting than the whackos surrounding him, but that prevents the movie's coming-of-age narrative from becoming too pat: like the space between comedy and drama, the one between sanity and insanity is where real life [is].