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September 30, 2010

It's Kind of a Funny Story

ItsKindofaFunnyStoryPoster Co-directors/co-screenwriters Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck ("Half Nelson") make an all too safe adaptation of Ned Vizzini's semi-autobiographical novel. Keir Gilchrist comes across like a young Keanu Reeves as suicidal New York high school student Craig. Craig goes to one of Manhattan's most prestigious schools. Feeling suicidal, Craig succumbs to the pressure he feels about his academic career and unfulfilled romantic desires and commits himself into the psyche ward at the Argenon Hospital in Brooklyn. Five days in the brightly lit ward afford Craig the opportunity to observe people worse off than himself. There's even cute-with-facial-scars Noelle (Emma Roberts) to fulfill Craig's need for a girlfriend. "It's Kind of a Funny Story" may not be the most cohesive or dynamic movie you'll ever see, but it does serve a public service in the way it gently presents mentally troubled young characters working through personal dilemmas under professional supervision. It's teen-psychology-super-drama-lite. The funny thing is that it does have some genuinely moving moments. Zach Galifianakis gives a crafty performance as Craig's friendly wardmate Bobby.

Rated PG-13. 101 mins. (B-) (Three Stars - out of five/no halves)

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