It's Kind of a Funny Story assembles a multi-talented cast to adapt a celebrated literary work about a teenage boy surrounded by colorful individuals. Walking into the movie, it was hard not to be reminded of Ryan Murphy's disastrous interpretation of the best selling memoir, Running With Scissors. That film treated mental illness in a demented sitcom fashion and resulted in one of the most annoying ordeals I've ever had at the movies. This is not the same case with It's Kind of a Funny Story, however. Where Running With Scissors was loud and cruel here is a film that finds inspiration and tenderness in its bleak subject matter.

Keir Gilchrist of United States of Tara gives a breakthrough performance as Craig, a 16-year-old boy with supportive parents and plenty of friends. Yet, he still has suicidal thoughts about jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge. Fearing that he may actually jump off that bridge, Craig checks himself into a mental hospital. Shortly after meeting some of the disturbed patients, including his middle-aged roommate who refuses to get out of bed, Craig begins to think that he doesn't belong there. But the staff physiatrist, played by Viola Davis, convinces him to stay the mandatory five-day period.

An eccentric, emotionally concealed patient named Bobby, played by Zach Galifianakis, takes Craig under his wing and shows him the ropes. After years of doing work as a character actor Galifinakis established himself as a great comedic player in The Hangover. While Galifinakis brings his own strange breed of comedic timing to the role of Bobby, he also takes a semi-dramatic turn along the lines of Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction. The movie depicts Bobby as a bottle-up, troubled human being who is likely to be struggling with his inner demons for a long time. It's a great performance from Galifinakis, which leads me to believe that he might be able to pull off a wholly dramatic role.

Julia Roberts' niece, Emma Roberts, gives the best performance of her young career as Noelle, a fellow 16-year-old patient who catches Craig's eye. Not much is revealed about why Noelle is in this mental hospital other than some scars on her wrists. A part of me would have liked to know more about her seemingly dark background. The relationship that blossoms between her and Craig is so irresistible though that this flaw is easy to neglect.

The directing duo of Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck have made a smart film that realizes suicidal young adults are not only the ones that come from broken homes. Sometimes the kids suffering from depression are simply under pressure by school and family. There's especially much truth to Craig's workaholic father, played by Jim Gaffigan, and clingy mother, played by Lauren Graham. These are not abusive parents, but understanding people who love their son and just want to see him happy. Their only misgiving is that maybe they push Craig a little too hard to succeed. The staff at the hospital is not dim-witted and wants to help Craig. Even Craig's friends understand where he's coming from, opening up to him about their own stress at school.

Like Easy A, It's Kind of a Funny Story is another coming of age tale that works due to the sincerity of its characters. Easy A though, was really more in the tradition of '80s high school movies. While It's Kind of a Funny Story has an occasional John Hughes motif, such as a musical number, this is an all together original film that goes deeper than typical teenage dramas. Although the movie isn't always as gritty as its topic, I had difficulty not smiling all the way through this funny and clever winner of a movie.

Nick Spake is a college student at Arizona State University. He has been working as a film critic for five years, reviewing movies on his website, NICKPICKSFLICKS.com. Reach him at nspake@asu.edu.

 

(24) comments

Quinn Robles

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work thewatchfreeonline

Ainsley

I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You. black friday bg

Ainsley

I read a article under the same title some time ago, but this articles quality is much, much better. How you do this.. matka result

Grace Brooks

Your site has grown a one-stop find as much as possible tutorial authoring. Thanks for your time in the very good get the job done. As i tested the online sites one preferred and even On the net which will best-dissertation. pores and skin look though. Ones own get the job done is kind of exemplary. paykasa

Ainsley

The website is looking bit flashy and it catches the visitors eyes. Design is pretty simple and a good user friendly interface. baixar musicas mp3 gratis

Ainsley

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts. MED-X

Ainsley

I was looking at some of your posts on this website and I conceive this web site is really instructive! Keep putting up.. bitcoin paper wallet generator

Ainsley

This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. This is very nice one and gives indepth information. Thanks for this nice article. MED-X, INC.

Ainsley

Excellent and very exciting site. Love to watch. Keep Rocking. womens fashion

Ainsley

Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. free recharge

Ainsley

I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before. Satellite Streams

Ainsley

Thank you for very usefull information.. emag black friday

Ainsley

Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it. voyance gratuite telephone

Ainsley

I am happy to find this post very useful for me, as it contains lot of information. I always prefer to read the quality content and this thing I found in you post. Thanks for sharing. งานทําที่บ้านรายได้ดี

Ainsley

Thanks so much for sharing this awesome info! I am looking forward to see more postsby you! satta matka number

Ainsley

It is a great website.. The Design looks very good.. Keep working like that!. Leahzan Arowana Astonishing

Ainsley

Attractive, post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have liked browsing your blog posts. After all, I will surely subscribe to your feed, and I hope you will write again soon! jobs circular of bangladesh protidin

cifelixe4455

Thanks for sharing this awesome article. Meaning Of DM

Ainsley

Great post, and great website. Thanks for the information! how to lose weight fast for men

Ainsley

I am very enjoyed for this blog. Its an informative topic. It help me very much to solve some problems. Its opportunity are so fantastic and working style so speedy. Best Steroids

Ainsley

There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way. Thank you for your clear information. http://truthordarequestions.snack.ws/

Ainsley

I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories. Natural wonders review - scam by american health collective?

Ainsley

This was a really great contest and hopefully I can attend the next one. It was alot of fun and I really enjoyed myself.. Buy phenq amazon

Ainsley

I am glad you take pride in what you write. This makes you stand way out from many other writers that push poorly written content. Hiyanna Spiritual Suppositious

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.