If you ever watched “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and thought to yourself, “this movie would be so much better if it were more lighthearted,” then “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” may be the movie for you.
Craig (played by Keir Gilchrist) is a depressed teen who checks himself into a psychiatric hospital in hopes that a brief stay there will help him get a grip on things. But he’s not hide-the-knives-depressed, he’s quirky-indie-movie-depressed, so don’t fear that this will be a total downer. When checking in, Craig is informed that the teen floor is under construction, so he’ll have to stay with all the adults, who are (naturally) an interesting band of merry misfits.
Leading the pack is Bobby (Zach Galifianakis in all his bearded glory), a man who on the surface appears to have nothing wrong with him, though he claims his children are better off without him. There’s also another teen staying there, Noelle (Emma Roberts), who catches Craig’s eye and starts to bring him out of his funk. Between forging friendships with the other patients and a budding new romance, Craig learns more about life and how to deal with it, hopefully in ways that will prevent any future self-imposed institutionalizations.
“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” looks like it could be a cute movie, though the blithe tone it seems to be taking with issues like teenage depression and psychiatric hospitals is a little … unsettling? Insulting? I’m not sure exactly, but for a movie that wants to be based in reality — and not a comical farce — it seems like it could touch on some of its themes with a bit more gravitas, rather then telling a coming-of-age story mental-ward style.
Also starring Viola David, Lauren Graham and Aasif Mandvi, “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” will get its prescription filled on Sept. 24.
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