We went off to the cinema last night in Ashford as it was showing the film It’s A Funny Kind Of Story – this film is out but appears to be on a bit of a limited release. I’ve checked the websites for Cineworld (which can’t even get the name of the film right!) and Odeon and both chains are only showing it on about 10-15 screens which is really sad as this was a wonderful film.
It’s advertised as a comedy but I’d be wary of referring to it in this way – at times it is laugh out loud funny, but at other times it’s a lot more serious – very similar to Love, and Other Drugs in this regard. The story focuses around 16 year old Craig who are the start of the film is finding that the pressures of life are building up so much he wants to commit suicide and just end it all. Not wishing to give a spoiler but, he doesn’t. Instead he gets himself committed to a mental ward where as the teen unit is under going renovation, he is put in with the adults. He very quickly decides he doesn’t want to be there but is told that is going to be kept for a minimum of 5 days observation. It’s whilst here he meets a variety of characters who begin to change his outlook on life, as he affects them as well.
The cast performs fantastically Keir Gilchrist really pulling you into the angst of the lead, with Zach Galifianakis playing the patient who befriends Craig and helps him through his depression playing a fantastic role partly comic but with a real darkness and tragedy below. Towards the end of the film these two characters share a game of basketball together which develops into a really funny but at the same time powerful scene.
One of the things I really liked about the film was the way it really allowed you to get inside of the main characters head – for example towards the start when he is asked a question about what may be concerning him in life and causing him to stress then you get a montage of shots showing his worries and concerns with Craig narrating explaining them, before returning the office where you get the response of “Oh nothing”. It’s the moments like this that the film pulls in and really work, sweeping shots through a 3d city that Craig is drawing, or a conversation being skipped over and only showing the highlights because it’s soppy – it really felt that you really were seeing the world through this characters eyes. Another scene is a musical therapy group – which goes completely into a fantasy concert and is one of the funniest scenes of the film – the entire case appears to be there and be having fun and it just makes it a joy to watch. There are other little touches as well – for example the basketball scene that I mentioned above – both characters attempt to shoot hoops but most of the time they fail – just like we would. These aren’t super perfect people, they’re real and this adds to the magic of the film.
At the end of the film, the general reaction amongst the group of us who went was that we really didn’t expect the film to be that good. I was walking out the cinema buzzing with a huge grin on my face – the last time I felt like that at a film was Back to the Future! It was a sad moment too – as we left there was a huge queue of people waiting to see The Kings Speech – I’ve not seen this film so I don’t want to comment on it, but there were only 10-12 people in the screening of It’s Kind Of A Funny Story and it looks like it’s not going to get the attention it deserves – so if you get the chance to see it, take that chance, I think it would be hard for you to be disappointed.