***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!
It's Kind of a Funny Story - 4 out of 5
Heart warming and funny...those are two words that don't often go together well in movies. Usually, it's a dash of one or the other. For example, you can have a comedy that's non-stop hilarity and have a single moment of tenderness or you can have a heart warming movie where you get a few chuckles here and there. Despite the mixed feelings critics had about this one, I think It's Kind of a Funny Story is one of those rare films that nearly perfectly balances both.
The film centers around a 16 year old boy named Craig (Keir Gilchrist) who's feeling a little depressed and decides to check himself into a psychiatric hospital. First off, I don't know why he's depressed because he's got one of my favorite comedians playing his dad--Jim Gaffigan. But I guess since Jim is not playing himself, maybe the kid has a right to be sad. Also, as you watch the film, you might easily discover why he's depressed as his friends are all a bunch of hipsters--extra thick horn-rimmed glasses wearing, skinny jean-encrusted, helmet hair donning, shitty-music-listening-to hipsters. If hipsters were my only friends, I'd be depressed too. Anyway, he checks himself in and suddenly finds himself in over his head. The film becomes your basic fish-out-of-water story as he must learn to live with his fellow peoples in the hospital.
Okay, the basic story elements are things we've seen before and the territory becomes even more familiar as a love story is thrown in and it follows the usual path seen in movies: Guy is physically attracted to one girl he can't have but has deeper feelings towards one he can have. Guy tells hottie he wants her and other girl overhears and heartache follows before their feelings come out and the two end up together. Okay, yeah, we've seen it but the presentation of this film and the actors involve bring to life a great cast of characters. One of the film's standout performances comes from Zach Galifiankis (The Hangover) who does away with his usual style of comedic performance and does a more toned down version. This makes Galifiankis even more charming than he usually is.
At the end of it all, the story doesn't offer any surprises and the end is EXACTLY what you would expect going in. However, the film offers some heart-warming scenes mixed in with the funny and it becomes a joy to watch.
I mean just watch this sequence...
If you don't find that awesome, this movie's not for you.