During the adolescent years, one is thrust into the journey of self-discovery and the coming of age. We pit ourselves through trials and tribulations to find our place in our surroundings - with friends, family, the community and society - and stretch ourselves thin trying to meet expectations and standards set out for us. In lieu of the theme of this issue, It’s Kind of a Funny Story explores that journey, dishing out a fresh new perspective of life in front of an unusual backdrop.
Adapted from Ned Vizzini's 2006 novel, It's Kind of a Funny Story tells the story of burnt-out teenager Craig (Keir Gilchrist), who checks himself into a mental health clinic citing exhaustion, and finds himself placed in the adult ward due to the fact that the youth ward has been shut down. Taken under the wing of fellow patient Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), the stressed-out 16-year-old attempts to endure his mandatory five days' stay without completely losing his mind. His predicament is made somewhat more tolerable by the presence of Noelle (Emma Roberts), another teenage patient who's struggling to sort out her thoughts.
I personally love how Keir Gilchrist embodies the character of Craig - his introversion, as well as his subtle cynicism, while dealing with the world in his mind - are brought to life by the 20-year-old actor with a natural flair. Most of the other characters, such as Emma Roberts with Noelle, and Zach Galifianakis with Bobby, provide a fulfilling performance, supporting and feeding off each other’s energy on-screen. The screenplay is well-written and adapted, with the cast, mixes well into a lovely comedy melody.
However, I felt that Noelle’s character was not developed and explored enough. Despite being a supporting character, her role in the film was superficial, as compared to the novel, which had delved deeper to explore her past and struggles as a misfit.
Overall, the movie isn’t over-dramatized or over-sentimental, instead, it actually lives up to its title; a comedy story coupled with serious, yet heart-warming undertones and themes. Unlike most feel-good films, this will actually tug at your heart strings and inspire you. The movie’s pivotal quote “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can. And the wisdom to know the difference.” leaves much food for thought to ponder over on a lovely Sunday afternoon, with a nice cup of tea and a snack.