Saturday, April 16, 2011

Was it kind of a funny story?

A great film or television can turn into a total waste of time if the ending feels forced or inauthentic. I am not talking about films with confusing endings, like the Coen brothers' Oscar-winning No Country For Old Men, or shows that fade to black without giving away all the answers, like The Sopranos. I am talking about mediocre movies whose conclusions completely fail the screenplay. It might be due to shoddy screenplays, foolish directors and producers, or sheer stupidity from the studio. At TheFFFurbelow I criticized the ending of The Devil Wears Prada, and I still believe the film's ending failed Andy's (Anne Hathaway) character development.

This time the problem is the 2010 film It's Kind of a Funny Story, starring Keir Gilchrist (from television's United States of Tara) and Zach Galifianakis. The plot surrounds Craig Gilner (Gilchrist), a sixteen year old high schooler who checks into a psychiatric hospital because of stress. The teenage ward is undergoing renovations so all teenagers are placed with the adults. This is where Craig meets Bobby (Galifianakis), another patient. It turns out Craig is crumbling under expectations from himself and his father and he is struggling with his best friend dating his dream girl. Bobby and the other patients, including Noelle (Emma Roberts), help Craig see the bigger picture.

My issue with It's Kind of a Funny Story is that Craig spends five days in the hospital and everything seems to change but nothing changes at the same time. He has replaced one girl with another and through all his introspection he has also managed to help everyone get better. I also found Bobby's exit from the film rather suspicious and the film ended on a rather sour note.

Did it matter how the film got to its end? Not really. Not when the ending is this superficial.


  1. I feel like Bobby really seeks to kill himself after his admission to the house was granted, I don't mean to offend anyone but I just get that feeling, there are some strong moments but I would say Galifianakis really brings something of worth to the table.

  2. That's an interesting take Emilio...I haven't gotten around to watching this one yet but I'm interested to see if I feel the same way.

    P.S. don't ever worry about offending anyone! We love contrasting opinions here. Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Yeah, Bobby last moments in the hospital let show that something was going on in is mind... When Craig got in Bobby room before the night they could get out, that was not a happy Craig talking. The night of the pizza party Bobby just came to see the group like 5 mins , he didnt dance or anything and went back to is room, its the last time we saw him. I am no expert but sound like he was someone deeply hurt and was seing that exit of the hospital like an exit to is suffering. We also we see Craig give Bobby is phone number on is drawing. In the ending scene we see Craig do all kind of stuff with everyone important for him, hug my mom, kiss my little sister, kiss my dad, make out with Noelle, see a movie with Aaron and is girlfiend etc... With pictures of all those activities, but nothing about Bobby...

    Maybe it was not crystal clear but for a teen movie they went as far they could I beleive, knowing that this subject is very sensitive and touchy.

    For me its a sad ending, wich not mean that it was a bad movie. I think they did a good job of being able to show the reality of it, knowing that some will be able to get through it , and others won't.