It's Kind of a Funny Story Reviews
Craig (Keir Gilchrist) is a depressed teenager who is not very sure on what makes him feel like that. While he keeps having a recurring dream about killing himself, one night it becomes quite intense that he commits himself to a psych ward for treatment. He has a typical middle-class family who are loving, caring and also slightly pushy for his academic achievements. Craig is infatuated with Nia (Zoe Kravitz) who is his best friend's girlfriend which is part of his problem. During his stay he meets Bobby (Zach Galifianakis) who looks normal than others but going through a rough patch which is a combination of divorce, losing child custody and being homeless. The rest is about how he handles his time in the ward, realizing his potential and also helps others recover during the process.
Best part of the movie is its breezy screenplay - it is neither innovative nor sticking to a familiar routine. Next is to include seasoned actors like Viola Davis as Dr. Minerva who brings the necessity intensity and character realization through simplicity. Zack's turnaround role feels refreshing considering his filmography around it. Keir definitely has talent though mildly explored in this offbeat role, it all depends on the roles that comes his way in the future or his selection that defines his career. The female leads in Zoe Kravitz and Emma Roberts has an important role in the movie but limited character arcs.
There is a moment in the movie where Dr. Minerva makes Craig realize about the triviality of his problems that is dealt with just the right amount of subtlety to make it more impactful. More such moments were required to make it even more engaging, but unfortunately the final segment resorts to being just about any other Hollywood coming-of-age genre. These offbeat movies generally lean on popular soundtracks to attract their target audience and this is no different.
Not a must watch but not something you wouldn't enjoy for a lazy Sunday matinée.
This movie only "does a good job of sidestepping psych ward comedy cliches" in that it has no actual comedy in it whatsoever. This movie was so unbearable I'd go so far as to call it a money laundering operation. Even Zach Galifianakis was off his game, delivering one or two witty lines of dialogue, and spending the rest of the movie relegated to an unconvincing mental ward patient role. The only scene of his that was supposed to have any weight to it, the outburst scene, had zero weight to it. A surprising performance from a normally enjoyable actor.
The movie follows the most generic, unfunny, and lame teenager stereotype imaginable. He's impossible to take seriously as he spends the movie traipsing from one unimaginably bad decision to the next, motivated only by the prospect of squeezing boobies in a miserably failed attempt at making fun of teen sexuality. This movie is genius in that it's not possible to come up with a more clichéd and tepid teenage main character if one were to try. If one were to get a crack team of highly-paid researchers to try, in fact. The worst part was that the writing team behind this atrocity of a movie had a golden opportunity to create a witty, sarcastic criticism of the quirks of the teenage mind, but they blew it.
The plot is thrust into motion when the idiot main character checks himself into a mental institution because he thinks he's suicidal. The reason he gave the doctor was, "I dunno. Stress and stuff". Through some kind of miracle, he's admitted, and he is shocked when he realizes he cannot leave and is stuck with people who have actual mental health issues, instead of pathetic pretenders who have the competence of a lobotomized frog. In hindsight, the main character should be in a mental hospital. Not because he is suicidal, but because he has no brain.
Then another two hours of eye-glazingly boring, poorly-executed romance play out, mixed in with a few miserably failed attempts at comedy. Then, the viewer is treated to a blatant PSA that a teenager's problems aren't real, they're not actually suicidal, and to stop over-exaggerating their own problems to get attention. Or something. It's hard to tell what pathetic moral the movie is trying to convey. The only thing that is successfully and convincingly conveyed is just how unpleasant the whole thing is. Then the movie ends, at last.
I would have shut it off sooner, but I was eager to see just how unenjoyable one movie could get. I wasn't disappointed.
Some movies are so bad they're good. Unfortunately, this movie has just the right level of production value to be an all-around miserable viewing experience. To the director's credit, I did laugh once. I began to laugh hysterically at how inorganic and awkward a section of dialogue was. But that's it. That was the high point of this movie.