‘It’s Kind of a funny story’ centres on Craig Gilner (Keir Gilchrist), a suicidal teenager who checks himself into a mental health clinic. Struggling to cope with typical teenage crises such as girl troubles, his depression grows and he reaches out for help. At this point I bet you are thinking that this doesn’t sound like a particularly funny story? Well, sort of.
Craig soon finds a mentor in Bobby, played by Zach Galifianakis. Best known for his madcap roles in ‘The hangover’ 1 & 2 and ‘Due Date’, Zach delivers a more restrained performance here that shows his versatility. Perhaps it’s just the beard, but he could well be the next Robin Williams.
The subject matter naturally lends itself to a few darker scenes, but they are balanced by plenty of light-hearted interludes. Between scenes at the clinic, Craig also narrates chapters from his own life that paints a picture of the events leading up to his depression. They even find time for a musical number.
Noelle (Emma Roberts) dips in and out as a self-harming love interest, but the film makes a point of avoiding predictable rom-com territory. It even goes so far as to tell you that it’s skipping through the soppy stuff.
‘It’s a kind of funny story’ never fully commits to being a comedy or drama. It instead focuses on Craig’s relationship with everyone around him, and while he can’t possibly change his entire world in five days, can start to see it with fresh eyes. While the film kept me interested throughout, it didn’t evoke enough emotion to leave a lasting impression.
Bonus features include deleted scenes, a look inside ‘It’s kind of a funny story’ and a featurette on the premiere in New York City. The true highlight (of the entire disc) however is the Outtakes, where Zach Galifianakis lets rip with multiple improvisations during scenes. Definitely worth the price of admission for established fans and worth checking out.
Review by: Mark O'Connell
Date: 1st July 2011
It's Kind of a Funny Story
Rating out of 5: