She's Funny That Way (2015)
Critic Consensus: She's Funny That Way is an affectionate, talent-filled throwback to screwball comedies of old -- which makes it even more frustrating that the laughs are disappointingly few and far between.
From renowned director Peter Bogdanovich, SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY is a screwball comedy featuring the interconnected personal lives of the cast and crew of a Broadway production. When established director Arnold Albertson (Owen Wilson) casts his call girl-turned-actress Isabella "Izzy" Patterson (Imogen Poots) in a new play to star alongside his wife Delta (Kathryn Hahn) and her ex-lover Seth Gilbert (Rhys Ifans), a zany love tangle forms with hilarious twists. Jennifer Aniston plays Izzy's therapist Jane, who is consumed with her own failing relationship with Arnold's playwright Joshua Fleet (Will Forte), who is also developing a crush on Izzy. (C) Lionsgate … More
as Izzy Beatty
as Arnold Albertson
as Jane Claremont
as Delta Simmons
as Seth Gilbert
as Joshua Fleet
as Nettie Patterson
as Al Patterson
as Judge Pendergast
as Harold Fleet
as Vivian Claremont
as Hotel Bellboy
as Wrestling Spectator ...
as Wrestling Spectator ...
as Wrestler #2
as Wrestler #1
as Delta's Father
as Policeman Macy's
as Seth Fan
as Macy's Greeter
as Limo Driver
as Bernie's Security
as Bernie's Floor Manag...
as Auditioning Girl #2
as Auditioning Girl #1
as Josie Albertson
as David Albertson
as Limo Driver
as Hotel Receptionist
as Hotel Guest #1
as Hotel Guest #2
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Critic Reviews for She's Funny That Way
The giggly men's-magazine tone, especially in Bogdanovich's treatment of call girls, makes the movie seem weirdly anachronistic.
The whole movie is tantrums and meltdowns and pitiful nostalgia... And yet every once in a while, something funny will happen.
She's Funny That Way often displays an old-school generosity and polish, and at least one breakout performance - but just as often, its moments of inspiration are tempered by miscasting and shrill attempts at humor.
Amusing piffle for audiences congenitally annoyed by new-fangled comedies.
Audience Reviews for She's Funny That Way
SLIGHTLY APHRODITE - My Review of SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY (2 Stars)
Peter Bogdanovich directed my favorite movie of all time, PAPER MOON, as well as the indelible classics, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW and WHAT'S UP DOC? He's made pretty good movies as well (MASK, THEY ALL LAUGHED, THE CAT'S MEOW) and some absolute lousy ones (DAISY MILLER, TEXASVILLE, and ILLEGALLY YOURS) but three great movies in a career that has spanned 6 decades still merits attention. When I learned that Bogdanovich co-wrote the script to SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY with his then-wife, Louise Stratten, almost 15 years ago, I sensed a long-simmering passion project and couldn't wait to see the results.
Clearly positioned as an homage to Preston Sturges' screwball comedies such as HOTEL HAYWIRE and Woody Allen's all-white-all-the-time minor Manhattan-set comedies of manners, SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY is a loving reminder of films from another time and place, yet it fails utterly with one poor casting choice and a not-quite-funny enough script. Small pleasures are still to be had, but the sense of retread begins right away with Irving Berlin's CHEEK TO CHEEK playing over the opening credits and an old-fashioned title card typical of the silent era.
Imogen Poots plays Izzy, a former prostitute turned famous actor, who recounts her journey to a cynical reporter, Ileana Douglas. Told in flashback, Izzy's dreamlike rise to success plays out in true screwball fashion with secrets piled upon secrets, astounding coincidences, and a strong, driving pace. Owen Wilson plays Arnold Albertson, a Broadway director who orders Izzy up to his hotel room via a "Call Girl Service" run by Debi Mazar. I put that in quotes for emphasis, since the anachronism of using the term "Call Girl" is just one of the many dated elements, intentional or not, here.
Wilson's first big scene, where he's juggling one phone call with Mazar and another with his wife (a hilarious Kathryn Hahn) is an example of how a delicate soufflé such of this can deflate with the wrong actor. Wilson lacks the zippy timing needed to pull this off, relying on his usual stoned-out, California surfer vibe to navigate a comedy style which would have been better served by someone like George Clooney. Poots, on the other hand, despite putting on a way-too-cartoonish Brooklyn accent, is a charming lead, the ray of light in a sea of insane characters. Her performance, down to the profession, echoes Mira Sorvino's Oscar-winning turn in Woody Allen's MIGHTY APHRODITE, but the verve and snap don't reach those levels.
Rhys Ifans as the star of the play Wilson's directing, becomes an important character when he spies Wilson kissing Poots. Long carrying a torch for Wilson's wife, Ifans keeps the dramatic engine churning, and clearly he's having a good time. Also in fine form is Jennifer Aniston, as the world's worst therapist (ok...she's a close second to her former FRIENDS co-star, Lisa Kudrow's brilliant portrayal of Fiona Wallace in the unjustly cancelled WEB THERAPY). Aniston seems to be connected to so many characters here and seemingly has time for none of them, considering her dismissive attitude, aggressive control of any situation, and shattering snap judgements she inflicts on anyone unlucky enough to get in her way. I loved every second of her performance and felt she could have/should have taught Wilson a thing or two.
Always loyal to his past colleagues, Bogdanovich lets none of than Tatum O'Neal, Austin Pendleton and Cybill Shepherd pop in with cameos, along with Quentin Tarantino, Tovah Feldshuh and many more. This is old school comedy with such an old school mentality, you wonder if Bogdanovich insisted everyone use land lines on purpose or if he forgot to update his script. The farcical elements are all here and they pile up in clever fashion, but when all is said and done, it feels like an exercise or an homage and not an inspired piece in its own right. It's breezy, sweet yet forgettable, and when you've achieved greatness before, a throwaway good time just isn't enough.
She's Funny That Way Quotes
|Izzy Beatty:||Eight million people in New York and it seems like everybody knows everyone.|
|Izzy Beatty:||Wham, bam, thank you m'am.|
|Izzy Beatty:||I got the part!|
|Arnold Albertson:||If you promise me tonight that you aren't going to do this again I'll give you thirty thousand dollars.|
|Izzy Beatty:||You're not really serious.|
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