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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor
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'Funny Story' lacks depth, background

As I walked into Edwards Cinema, nearly every seat was empty. This came as little surprise, since It’s Kind of a Funny Story showed only five times during its opening weekend. Despite this absence of enthusiasm toward the indie film, the movie succeeded in creating an entertaining collection of themes.

The protagonist, Craig (Keir Gilchrist) — a brilliant yet sad boy who attends a private school in New York — narrates the film, and begins his commentary with suicidal thoughts. His intentions stem from a flood of pressures in his life. Due to the guilt he would have if he carried the act out, such as leaving his family behind, Craig checks himself into a mental hospital to gain help with his emotional disease.

The hospital admits Craig into the temporary psychiatric ward, where he is instructed to stay a minimum of five days. He soon changes his mind about staying at the hospital because he is surrounded by the other patients who have more serious diseases, such as schizophrenia, and does not feel safe to stay around them.

Here Craig meets Bobby (Zach Galifianakas), a patient who often dresses in scrubs and wanders through the hospital for fun. Bobby is a disheveled man who owns only a green sweater and believes himself to have ruined all opportunities in life, which causes him to be miserable.

Throughout the following week, Craig struggles to fit in, but soon meets a seemingly normal fellow teen, Noelle (Emma Roberts). The two soon become friends, and Craig learns that Noelle has been in the hospital for a couple of weeks for unknown reasons.

In addition to meeting Noelle, Bobby takes Craig under his wing, and together they learn more about each other’s backgrounds. They explore the hospital and discover hope in life beyond their mental illnesses.

The flick’s purpose is to show all the pressures Craig faces and how he attempts to find his personal identity through them. Ironically, even though he is daily surrounded by intelligent people, it takes a group of mentally ill patients to help him understand that he needs to stop worrying about all the unimportant things that life entails. Craig is urged to live his life despite his fears and apprehensions.

Overall, the film is average because of Craig’s flat personality, which is disappointing due to the considerable size of his role. In addition, the writers failed to expand Noelle’s character. According to the novel version released in 2006 by Ned Vizzini, Noelle was abused by her father and cut herself with scissors as a coping mechanism. However, in the movie she comes across as simply self-conscious about her scars, giving little insight into her emotions and personality.

Despite the lack of information about the other characters, by the end of the film I felt like I knew Bobby — the mirror image of Craig, except older. He brings the tragedy of the film into perspective because he feels like a failure as a father, and, despite his attempts to hide his emotions, they are still present.

Though this may seem like a grim story, it is quite enjoyable and light-hearted. It truly is “kind of a funny story,” differentiating itself from other lower-budget movies and making itself worthwhile. The writers used irony to their advantage by adding a feeling of happiness often present in the film, distracting viewers from the dismal setting.

This film is worth seeing, but I suggest waiting until it is available to rent on DVD. At first glance, the movie seems interesting; but, as the movie continues on, it loses its appeal.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story is playing in most local theaters. For tickets and showtimes, visit Fandango.

For more movie reviews, read the Oct. 22 article, ‘Guardians’ misrepresents memorable series.

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