By John Anderson
By Nick Schager
By Anna Dimond
By Chris Klimek
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Ciara LaVelle
By Scott Foundas
A film seemingly designed to get every New York City honors student punched in the face at college, It's Kind of a Funny Story chronicles a privileged Brooklyn high-schooler's supercool institutionalized mental-health break. Hot for his best friend's girlfriend, stressed out over an application to a prestigious summer school, and audaciously neglectful of his Zoloft, 16-year-old Craig (Keir Gilchrist) commits himself to a psych ward after tepid fantasies of jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge start warming. With this young-adult riff on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, writer/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck at first glance seem far afield from the sociorealism of their previous features, Half Nelson and Sugar. But rather than a humorous departure from self-seriousness, It's Kind of a Funny Story doubles down, uniting broad comedy with leaden sloganeering for a super-sincere, tonally awry amusement tour of post-9/11 despair. We meet an eclectic community of colorful New Yorkers mentally challenged by modern living, from a Patriot Act paranoid to Craig's in-house father figure (Zach Galifianakis, taking his first step toward sad-clown legitimacy), who's caught in a cycle of unemployment, poverty, and rage. Meanwhile, our hero's stay in the nuthouse boosts his ego and affirms his entitlement, and in five short days, he learns that he's a master illustrator and a natural singer. "I used to think art was just bourgeois decadence," a wiser Craig says in the end, which is funny, because that's kind of what this film is.
Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, film info & more!
Find everything you're looking for in your city
Find the best happy hour deals in your city
Get today's exclusive deals at savings of anywhere from 50-90%
Check out the hottest list of places and things to do around your city