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on February 12, 2011
It's Kind of a Funny Story is an uplifting tale about a teenager overwhelmed by academic and social pressures who briefly checks himself into a psychiatric hospital. The lead actor, Keir Gilchrist (Craig), nails his role as a somber and confused 16-year-old. The supporting cast is good as well, although the female love interest is a bit cardboard and the resolution clichéd. The psychiatric hospital is also much more benign than any I have encountered (See Lemas Mitchell's Amazon review for a list of reality checks). But that's not really the point; it's more of a coming-of-age story about an adolescent trying to find his place in the world. What I liked most is the film's message about the importance of kindness; Craig is truly a kind person who feels for other people, and the other patients and staff for the most part echo that kindness and caring. Another highlight is Zach Galifianakis's creative and quirky direction, especially the scenes when Craig retreats into his active fantasy world as he sings, draws, and reminisces. Overall, I would recommend this movie for a pleasant and humorous escapist jaunt.
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on November 12, 2010
The movie should be called "It's Kind of an Amazing Movie". When you go see a Zach Galifianakis movie, you don't expect anything more than a stupid comedy (that has potential to be good), but "It's Kind of a Funny Story" was way better than the exceptions I had. The movie was funny, intense, and some-what depressing/sad. The movie makes you think about life. The movie makes you think about how lucky you are or realize the good things in life. This movie is a must see. It is truly amazing and probably one of the best movies of 2010 so far.
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on March 7, 2011
I saw It's Kind of a Funny Story in theatres for a friend's birthday party. She gave us the options for movies and I had no idea what any of the suggested were about. I had no expectations (actually I didn't want to see the movie at all... I voted for one of the other movies) but after the movie was over I wanted to watch it again!

One of the great things about this movie is the characters. They're screwed up, and likeable, and an interesting band of personalities all shoved into one spot. The different insights they make on living life are, yes a little cliched, but stuff wouldn't be cliched if they weren't applicable! It's fun watching the main character turn into what he wanted and take charge of his life. It was funny, awkward, romantic, made some really good points, sad, and it gives a warm fuzzy feeling!

After I saw that movie I went straight to the bookstore! I needed more! I read the book in a matter of days. This is the first time I've ever said (typed) anything like this: I liked the movie better than the book! Don't get me wrong; the book was awesome and funny, but I loved the movie so much!

All in all a fun watch! Great characters, good points, witty dialogue, and just enough romance! Highly recommended!
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on March 2, 2011
You would think a movie about a kid who checks himself into a psych ward would NOT be "kind of a funny story". This is an amazing story - it will make you laugh, chuckle, and think. Every actor/actress gives a great performance. As the mother of a 17 and 18 year old it made me understand the amount of pressure they are under in their every day lives and how we sometimes, unknowingly, add to that pressure.
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on September 6, 2012
This was a fantastic movie! It deals with a very, very serious issue... but it does so in a way that is more lighthearted and "normal." We watched this movie with our 14-year old daughter, and I think it was an appropriate message for her. Number one, it shows how serious teen suicide is taken. Two, it shows how often adults just don't "get" what their children are going through. And three, it was entertaining and heartwarming. Great movie.
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on June 17, 2015
When I first watched this movie, I had been in the process of watching many films that reviewers would like much more than this. This is a movie you just have to experience, not necessarily critique everything. Some people will connect with this movie and some won't. It might not be as detailed as the book, however I thought this movie was very touching. It deals with a very touchy subject, depression and the results of depression. Even though I caught myself laughing a lot, I caught myself tearing up during the conversations between Craig and Bobby, and then laughing again shortly after. This because of Zach Galifianakis' and Keir Gilchrist's wonderful acting. This movie changes its tone a lot, however it always keeps a similar vibe. You're either crying, laughing....or just thinking. It is very hard to find a movie even similar to this. It is a movie that I catch myself quoting and thinking about when life gets tough. I will try to watch this only on special occasions just so I don't spoil it. If you haven't watched this movie, it is worth an hour and a half of your time. I do recommend watching the movie first and then reading the book. Also I didn't know of what happened to the author before watching this movie, I was very saddened and discouraged at hearing the news. R.I.P. Ned Vizzini. His life and his story has helped saved many people. Thank you for reading this.
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on September 6, 2012
Honestly, I hate Zach Galifianakis. I hate him as an actor, and from the interviews I have heard, I hate him as a person. He is gross, crash, and just not my type of humorist at all.

But playing a mentally deranged person, he was pretty good. Not his usually gross self.

Typically teenage angst movie. Kid lets pressures of every day life get too him, his family is no good, above average intelligence, jocks start beating him up, blah blah, same stuff they feed them on TV. Decides to commit suicide, but checks himself into rehab.

It was a enjoyable not too boring ride. No great moments, no ups and downs, just plain, a little too long in the middle.

Hope a lot of teenagers saw the ending. It did make a great point, and that all life is work living.
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on September 22, 2014
Navigating the teenage years isn’t easy for anyone. The stress of getting good grades, scholarships, being involved in various clubs and sports, and being social is overwhelming to many teenagers in America these days. The stress from this overbearing lifestyle often leads to depression and anxiety in teens.
Based on Ned Vizzini’s novel, the film It’s Kind Of a Funny Story explores how the hectic lifestyle of the modern American teenager takes its toll on sixteen-year-old Craig. This film has good intentions of spreading awareness about mental illnesses, but comes off in a skewed and dark way.
As the title may suggest otherwise, there really is nothing funny about mental illness. One of the very first big clues of this twisted and ironic message is delivered to us by Craig’s overbearing mother (Lauren Graham), when she says that “life in a mental ward can be really neat”. This film as a whole teeters in-between being heart-warming and plain offensive. In a sense, this film portrays mental hospitals as places where you will meet funny characters - even casting Zac Galifinakis, generally a comedic actor, to portray an inpatient who is there “on vacation” - and play with arts and crafts all day and meet the love of your life, when in reality, it’s nothing to joke about.
This film further glamorizes serious mental illnesses when Craig’s popularity at school skyrockets when word gets out he’s in a mental hospital. He even gets kissed for the first time within those five short days he is there by another patient, Noelle (Emma Roberts). Anyone right-minded person would be genuinely concerned for Craig’s well-being after discovering this terrible news, not excitedly exclaiming “aww sweet!” and asking for hook-ups for Vicodin over the pay phone in the hospital lobby.
Now, Craig is required to stay in the hospital for a total of five days, for observation and other such medical protocol, but ends up wanting to leave after twenty minutes or so of being there, and claims he “feels better” and doesn’t realize how serious suicidal thoughts are. He thinks that the good doctors could “do something quick” and ta-da! He would magically be cured. Our country has a tendency to think this way about mental diseases.
This notion is extremely offensive to those who actually suffer from depression, because they know first hand how debilitating of a disease it can be. It is not something that just goes away on its own, as Craig may think, and it is, in fact, a serious disease. People die from it every day. And in reality, some people have it so much worse than he does.
As a whole, It’s Kind Of a Funny Story wraps up mental illness in a neat little box and is delivered to you with a bow on top. Its wrong to the hundreds of thousands of those who suffer from severe depression and anxiety. This film may seem lighthearted enough, but its true message of sentimentalizing and revering those who are mentally ill comes off as dark and off-balance. To those who are effected, it’s anything but a funny story.
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on June 16, 2015
Very good book. I thought it was very relate able and sends a good message to never give up. I watched the movie after reading and liked that as well, left some of the non-essential characters out but it was still the same message.
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on April 21, 2014
First, let me say, I think the two leads did a fantastic job with their characters. The relationship between them was interesting and seemed real, rather than forced, and they exposed their characters flaws sensitively. Emma Roberts was irritating, as she has been for the past several years... just too angsty and proto-typical (her characters always seem bitter anymore). I loved the subtle performance of "Smitty" too. His part is tiny but he seems very truthful. So... what DIDN'T I like about this film? Quite a lot actually. For starters, it just didn't feel realistic at all to me. Films, obviously, don't have to be... but when dealing with a serious subject like teen mental illness (depression, suicide), shouldn't they be? Shouldn't the film ATTEMPT to convey a realistic situation? Is there a moral obligation to do so? Well, perhaps not but I would have liked the film better if it weren't something enormously serious masquerading as fluff. (I mean the love story? COME ON!) Also, parts of it were predictable... very. I won't give them away here... but Egyptian music springs to mind... I'm a little baffled, actually, when there are so many good stories out there to tell, that this flimsy one made it to film. Was is just so Zach Galifianakis could demonstrate what an amazing serious actor he can be? (he is). I don't know, maybe that's enough. But I'd sure have liked to see him have a better vehicle in which to display that considerable talent.
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