Review: Funny Story

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Title: Funny Story
MPAA Rating: TV-14
Directors: Michael J. Gallagher
Starring: Matthew Glave, Emily Bett Rickards, Jana Winternitz
Runtime: 1 hr 24 mins

What It Is: Walter (Glave), a middle-aged actor famous from his cheesy fantasy TV show from the ’80s, decides to invite himself to his estranged daughter Nick’s “getaway.” Kim (Rickards) is fresh out of her estranged mother’s funeral and, seemingly a friend of Walter’s daughter is forced to tag along with him on the road to meet her there. What follows is the pair bonding, getting drunk, and accidentally having sex, subsequently having to make the decision themselves whether to ruin relationships in order to clear the truth, or carry the guilt with them forever.

What We Think: Funny, I get two screeners about weird infidelity in a row. Thanks, boss.

That being said, this flick was actually a tad bit more enjoyable. Penned as a “tragicomedy,” this anti-Hallmark flick has a very smooth presentation. The performances were so grounded and so enjoyable, everyone putting in something all their own that feels genuine. The two leads are superb and charming, able to quickly balance the weight of their actions but also get a chuckle out of you; they alone hold the movie up to a much higher standard. I certainly implore the comedic head of this movie–the writing is quick, the delivery is perfect. The other head, the “tragedy” per se is most effectively hard to swallow. There are a few “oh shit” moments that land on their feet and it’s funny when they do, but as soon as the first act drops so does the movie’s sense of humor, slamming this serious filter over everything. It becomes a little hard to watch even, considering the awful situation these characters put themselves in. It’s interesting to see how Kim deals with it versus the weathered Walter, but watching what follows begs the question of what the merit of watching is anymore. It’s not so much of a Funny Story, but I guess that’s the point. You have to cope with the characters’ actions alongside them.

Our Grade: C+, Knowing that this is coming from the director of YouTubeRed’s The Thinning, this is a tremendous step up. Well-directed with cinematography that feels breathable (if that makes any sense), great performances, and a fluid script, Funny Story is a solid drama. As for the story itself, as I said, it’s a little hard to get through as there seems to be one moment of cringe after another; the plot’s pretty rocky with an imbalance between the humor and the heaviness. Overall, it was an okay experience.

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