‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’
By MICHAEL WALTERS
Zach Galifinakis is a joy to watch as a stressed out mental patient in a Brooklyn looney bin in “It’s Kind Of A Funny Story.” It’s just a shame that the rest of the movie isn’t quite up to his high standards.
Depressed teen Craig (Kier Gilchrist) checks himself into a mental ward because he’s worried about a looming college entrance exam and the relentless expectations his driven dad. He’s also in love with his best friend’s girlfriend. Once inside he meets various wacky mental patients who teach him he’s not so screwed up after all and help him get back on the right track. Among those is Galifinakis, and suicidal teen Emma Roberts.
One of the central problems here is the characters on the periphery are so much more interesting than the protagonist. Gilchrist delivers all his lines in such a flat monotone he is unable to give his character much to go on or care about. And the tone of the scenes inside the mental hospital is all over the place. It can’t decide if it wants to be a wacky comedy, a coming of age drama, a love story, or what. There are a few intermittently funny sequences, but nothing that really hits it out of the park. And the tone is all over the place. Galifinakis makes the most of his screen time and offers a view of what might have been. He’s a sort of father figure showing Gilchrist the tricks to surviving life on the inside, and making the most of things. But Galifinakis shows us his character’s flaws too and makes us care about him. I only wish I could say the same about everyone else.