It starts on a trestle. A 16-year-old boy is walking across a trestle that hovers over a bustling New York City street. His parents show up and tell him how selfish he is for wanting to jump off and, a second later, he is falling into the water. The boy wakes up.
“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” is about a boy named Craig (Keir Gilchrist), who is unhappy with his life and admits himself into a psychiatric hospital because of his suicidal desires.
The teen unit of the hospital is undergoing renovations and Craig, along with the other teen patients, are now admitted to the adult psychiatric wing.
It is here that Craig meets Bobby (Zach Galifianakis). His role is far from typical, like his role in “The Hangover,” but still has his same moments of hilarity that will keep you laughing through each scene.
Craig and Bobby form an odd friendship that helps Craig deal with his depression and shapes his rehabilitation.
While the subject matter of suicidal teens is touchy and all too relevant today, in the film it is shown in the least offensive, lighthearted way one could imagine.
The story follows the plot line of ‘boy meets girl’ to a tee.
Craig has always been in love with his best friend’s girl, but then meets Noelle (Emma Roberts), a fellow patient and self-cutting survivor.
Noelle becomes Craig’s new love interest. She is witty and her character holds a strong emotional connection to Craig.
There are many other characters that play strong roles throughout the movie and still offer up a laugh every now and then.
Craig deals with some problems every teenager deals with today, but just does so differently. His father George, (Jim Gaffigan), and his mother Lynn, (Lauren Graham), don’t realize the pressure they are putting on their son, even after he is admitted to the hospital.
With his dad pushing him to apply for a summer school program that would better his academic career, Craig doesn’t realize it is something he does not want to do.
His time in the hospital assists Craig in discovering his true talents and, with much help from Noelle, his artistic abilities.
After being admitted, Craig worries about what his peers at school will think when they find out and is scared they will make fun of him. His psychiatrist, Dr. Mihena (Viola Davis), proceeds to tell him that depression is a mental disease, which is what many people seem to forget.
A story of truth, “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” brings to light the serious issue of teen suicide and depression that many people choose to ignore.
Not only is the movie clever, it fits its title. It is a funny story of a troubled teen finding out who he really is by spending five days in a psychiatric hospital.
Adapted from Ned Vizzini’s novel of the same title, the movie closely follows the events and details in the book.
The movie’s tagline, ‘Sometimes what’s in your head isn’t as crazy as what you think,’ is fitting and sums it up the well.
“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” is only showing in select theaters, including the Keystone Art Cinema.
The movie will pull at your heartstrings and motivate you to do more with the life you were given.