The story isnâ€™t as compelling, the patients and staff arenâ€™t as deranged, and the performances certainly arenâ€™t as powerful. Even so, One Flew Over the Cuckooâ€™s Nest involuntarily comes streaming to mind while watching Itâ€™s Kind of a Funny Story. Call it â€œCuckoo Lightâ€ with a PG 13-appropriate amount of angst and just enough laughs and creativity to keep your attention.
High schooler Craig (Keir Gilchrist) is in a teenage funk. Amid all the usual despondencies, heâ€™s also fallen in love with his best friendâ€™s girl. So when suicidal thoughts come a-creeping Craig stops in at the local mental health clinic for a bit of advice, never realizing that checking in is much easier than checking out. Suddenly itâ€™s a mandatory five-day visitâ€”minimum. To make matters worse, while the young peopleâ€™s wing is being remodeled Craig is thrown into the grown-up psychiatric ward of the hospital. The result is not necessarily a surprising storyline: friendships made, girl discovered, lessons learned. The funny thing with a familiar story, however, is that a sharp writerâ€”or in this case, two: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Half Nelson, Sugar)â€”can breathe life into an otherwise predictable script.
Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Writers: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck
Cinematographer: Andrij Parekh
Starring: Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Lauren Graham, Jim Gaffigan, Emma Roberts
Studio: Focus Features, 91 min.