10 October 2010 | jonnyhavey
It's Kind of a Good Story Too
See It Now! Critical Perspective: B+ Personal Perspective: A
This is a film about second chances and in particular giving yourself a second chance. We all get very overwhelmed and stressed out because of our very busy and hectic lives, however, sometimes you just need to step back and give yourself a break from all of the drama in the world and focus on what is really important to you in your life. After a little thought all of the things that stress us out on a daily basis become very petty and unimportant and the things with true meaning and value in our lives shines through. "It's Kind of a Funny Story" is a film based off of the 2006 novel by Ned Vizzini of the same name. The story follows a boy named Craig (Keir Gilchrist) on a five day self-discovery journey in a psychiatric hospital he checks himself into after dealing with depression in his stressful life. He is guided with the help of his doctor Eden Minerva (Viola Davis; Oscar Nomination for "Doubt") and fellow patient Bobby (Zach Galifianakis; "The Hangover"). These two relationships along with a very special girl named Noelle (Emma Roberts) change Craig's life.
The Good: The film follows its genre as a dramatic comedy very well and isn't over sentimental or Hollywoodized at all. Instead it is everything you would want a film with the title "It's Kind of a Funny Story" to be. It really is kind of a funny story and a very good story with some very serious undertones. Overall, the acting in the film is very fulfilling and the variety of different character personas' of the patients mesh very well in a perfect comedic melody. However, Zach Galifianakis is the biggest name actor in the film and steals the spotlight whenever the camera is on him. He plays a character that is very hard to describe. He is both troubled and enlightened, dramatic and comedic, and optimistic and pessimistic. What ever he is, all of the other characters feed off of his energy and look up to him on screen. Galifianekis is joined by Keir Gilchrist (Craig) Lauren Grahm (Craig's Mother), Jim Gaffigan (Craig's Father), Emma Roberts (Noelle), Thomas Mann (Aaron) and Zoe Kravitz (Nia). The cast is supported by a very well written adapted screenplay by Anna Fleck and Anna Boden that will make you laugh and cry.
The Bad: The actress, Zoe Kravitz, does not do a very good job playing Nia, Craig's love interest from before he meets Noelle in the psychiatric hospital. She is a very annoying, stereotypical, stuck up girl that just isn't very believable. It is very hard to believe that Craig would actually like her especially because she is his best friend, Aaron's girlfriend. It is also hard to believe that Aaron is his best friend because he does not seem to treat Craig very good and does not act as a very good friend towards him. This makes both of these relationships to be very unimportant to the overall story.
Final Thought: We all could use a five day break from our lives so we can just enjoy the moment and relax without following a strict schedule that forces us to rush around. We all need contemplate the quotation that Craig's doctor Eden Minerva states at the beginning of the film, "Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference." Go to the theater and See It Now, the film that avoids the typical clichés of the psychiatric hospital comedy and it may just inspire you too.