Friday, 7 January 2011

REVIEW: Its Kind Of A Funny Story

Everyone goes a little mad sometimes.

Its Kind Of A Funny A Story feels like the sort of film that bred like a virus in about 2004, but numbers have dwindled of late. Featuring a skinny white teen protagonist, preferably rich but at least middle class, contending with emotional alienation/mental problems only to be redeemed by a manic pixie dream girl from the other side of the tracks. Some good came off these films but often they were way too self-indulgent to amount to anything much. It's kind Of A Funny story is a bit more laidback then these films are usually, and wisely it pushes the focus from the teen lead to the adult supporting cast, becoming a sort of an emo One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

Maybe I've had enough time off from privileged whining to find it endearing again, but for its familiarity and faults, the film is a kind of charming experience. Mostly because of an excellent performance from Zach Galifianakis but also because its its a film that doesn't insist on itself too much ,a couple of photo montages and fantasy sequences aside, and seems content in being a small story about a guy learning to get over himself. Which is a story that we don't see that often, particularly in indie teen movies, but I found it to be a nice touch. And its a testament to Keir Gilchrist's performance that I didn't want to throttle the guy. But back to Galifianakas, who I much prefer in roles like this then his bigger, broader mainstream comic persona. Specific persona's like that grow tired quickly, as Jack Black and Will Ferrell will testify to, but Galifianakis seems to show a desire to actually be an actor, not above taking supporting parts, cameos, or even a regular role on a TV show. His career shows an almost inspiring lack of ego, and while the big hits I grow weary off a little, as downplayed mental patient Bobby he gets to shine the most. Still funny, but its the dramatic stuff where he adds to the film rather then seek attention, a la Jim Carrey in dramatic roles. And this is my favourite performance he has given yet. An interesting development.

What brings it down is the day to day of it, the parents who don't get him, the Emma Roberts character, who is the thinnest sketch of a manic pixie dream girl and that relationship has drastically less depth then the one between Gilchrist and Galifianakis, which I guess could be a cool thing. But ultimately just too many indie by numbers happening in ways I've seen them happen before. And to be anything more then a 'yeah its alright' film something has to pop, but the greatest compliment I have is I enjoyed how laid back it was.

Rating: 6/10

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