Doctor’s orders: Check out ‘Funny Story’

Stephanie Osmanski

With all the workings and potential of being the perfect indie film of the year, “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” proves to be an actually hilarious story. Based on the 2006 novel by Ned Vizzini, “Funny Story” begs its viewers to realize we’re all a little crazy in the head – whether we’re clinically insane or just the regular kind.

If you’ve succumbed to the ever-present stresses of being a student, family member, friend or rejected lover, you will easily relate to Craig (Keir Gilchrist), the 16-year-old protagonist who voluntarily checks himself into an adult psychiatric hospital.

“Funny Story” is interspersed with a colorful array of characters – from a patient who never leaves his room to a victim of an LSD overdose, which left him with highly-sensitive hearing and the illusion that he is King Solomon.

The cast collectively delivers awkward sarcasm with precision and outstanding comedic timing. With leading performances by Zach Galifianakis (Bobby), Emma Roberts (Noelle), and Jeremy Davies (Smitty), “Funny Story” contains the type of witty give-and-take that is only achieved by superior actor-to-actor chemistry.

As Craig encounters schizophrenics and victims of severe self-inflicted injury, a light and sarcastic mood is maintained, thanks to Broken Social Scene, the Canadian indie-rock band that formatted the score. With three tracks contributed by Broken Social Scene, and various tracks by The Damned, The Wowz and Ida Marie singing “Oh My God” for the movie’s official trailer, the musical score leaves little to be desired. It’s perfectly screwed up, just like the film it pays tribute to.

While cataloguing the ups and downs of friend zones, love triangles, first loves, everyday stresses and the temptations of suicide, “Funny Story” manages to capture viewers’ hearts as well as their minds. You may leave the movie theater with a newfound acceptance of your own problems and fluctuating mental state.

Galifianakis leaves audiences with a piece of surprisingly cheery advice from such a negative, suicidal character. “You know what I would do just to be you for just a day? I would … I don’t know, I’d just live. Like it meant something.”

Photo credit: Focus Features