Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's Kind of a Funny Story: A Review

It was kind of funny.

I was tempted to just leave it at that, but indeed, there was more to it.  It's the story of Craig, a 16-year-old boy who thinks he might want to kill himself.  But only if killing himself were temporary.  He knows his family would actually be really upset by it, and he doesn't want to hurt his family.  So he's not really suicidal, but it's the best term he can find for it.

It seems as though he has a case of teenage angst, but instead of manifesting itself in some sort of goth-brooding-too-cool-for-school way, it's manifesting as depression with suicidal tendancies ideas.   He's really just as confused as the rest of us, but as he puts it, he just doesn't know how to handle it.  The truth is, a lot of us don't know how to handle it.  We don't all end up in the psychiatric ward of a hospital, but for him, it seemed like the next best idea. 

When you get right down to it, he doesn't have it so bad.  But it feels bad to him, and instead of ignoring it, or turning to drugs, alcohol, cutting, vampires, or other popular outlets that would land him in a psychiatric ward, he decides to just go straight to the psychiatric ward.  The child/teen wing is under reconstruction, so he gets put in with all the adults.  Yay Zach Galifianakis.  

The story essentially takes place over 5 days, and boy, what a long 5 days.  Though, I suppose without work and other things non-hospital oriented to fill my time, I could squeeze what seems like a months worth of growth and discovery into 5 days. 

When it comes right down to it, I think Craig's thing, his problem, his issue, the source of his angst, lies in that he basically lives in his head.  In his head are wonderful things, like Queen concerts, brain maps, and Coney Island.  But he keeps them inside and it makes him all twisty. The visuals are pretty fantastic, and I actually wanted more of that bit, to get inside his head more.  

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention my favorite aspect of it: stress vomiting.  I don't want to think about the logistics of how they pulled it off; I want to believe Keir Gilchrist can puke on command.

It was kind of a funny story, and it was heart-warming and sweet, and a little dark at parts.  It was full of small precious moments that add up to be greater than the sum.  A small scene that sticks with me is a flashback-type scene where young Craig can't draw.  He sits in his fort attempting to trace New York City. Upon hearing their five-year-old yell out "shit," the parents (Jim Gaffigan and Lauren Graham) share a look and Mom goes to investigate.  The most striking part of this scene, to me, is that five-year-old memory Craig is actually 16-year-old Craig during the discussion, until the last moment, when we see the hopeful look in the adorable five-year-old's eyes.  Because this is how we often remember things; as our current selves having these conversations in tiny bodies.  Perhaps that only makes sense in my head. 

Mostly, I do think it was funny.

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