Sunday, May 15, 2011

Skip Anyway

Who would you have play you in your teen biopic?

It's Kind of a Funny Story is the story of a depressed teen who admits himself to an improbably porous mental health unit. It's sweet but not saccharine.  It has real edges here and there.  Adapted for the screen (from the novel by Ned Vizzini) and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, it is visually creative, a touch surreal in all the right places, and features a clever and diverse soundtrack.

Keir Gilchrist carries the show through the funny, the dark, and the surreal.  He plays a kid smart enough to know he doesn't have all the answers, just a mess of questions.  Emma Roberts plays recovering but brittle so naturally you forget how beautiful she is.  Zach Galifianakis provides a strong supporting role, but does not overwhelm the story, which he could without trying.  There are other roles - patients, orderlies, therapists, family, and friends - which offer up moments of truth.


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