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It's Kind of a Funny Story Review

Movies.com Critics

2.0

Dave White Profile

Emphasis on "kind of." Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    63

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    A dramatically inert, lethargic dramedy that isn't nearly as quirky and poignant is it perceives itself.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The film itself is fairly slight: I'm not sure what it adds up to. Still, I enjoyed every moment of its beguiling saga of a depressed teen named Craig.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    It's Kind of a Funny Story may be the first psych-ward drama to draw on John Hughes movies for tonal reference.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Notable for the easy chemistry of its ensemble cast.

    Read Full Review

  • See all It's Kind of a Funny Story reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Coming-of-age dramedy explores teen pressures, angst.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this irreverent dramedy based on writer Neil Vizzini's young adult novel It's Kind of a Funny Story -- which co-stars offbeat comedian Zach Galifianakis and former tween star Emma Roberts -- will likely appeal to teens thanks to its relatable take on how overwhelming life and expectations can be when you're in high school. Its mix of teen angst (the main character begins the movie feeling suicidal) and mental hospital drama and hijinks includes some salty language (including "s--t"), discussions about serious issues like suicide, and unsettling situations. There's also some kissing and making out and other references to sex.

  • Families can talk about the pressures that Craig faces in the movie. Are real-life teens as stressed out as that? Why? What are some ways to cope with the pressures of family, school, friendship, and dating?
  • Is there a stigma against admitting that you're depressed? Is it worse among teenagers? Why?
  • What is the movie saying about life as a teen in today's world? Do you agree?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The biggest message here is to choose life. Shape it, embrace it, make the most of it. Characters also learn that support and encouragement can come from the unlikeliest places, and you may be surprised at the joy of how accepting help feels.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Teenage Craig is overwhelmed (by school, girls, friends, life) and, at the start of the film, suicidal. But somehow he finds a way to shift his focus from the expectations that he feels he can't meet to ones that he'd actually like so that he has a life he enjoys. Bobby seems like a mess, despite the fact that he's about to transition into a group home. But he's empathetic and caring enough to take Craig under his wing.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A teen's imagined suicide is shown. Two patients bicker somewhat menacingly at breakfast. Another patient discusses cutting herself. A couple argues loudly in front of their child. A man has an angry outburst, yelling and throwing things on the floor/around a room.

  • sex false3

    Sex: A character ogles a classmate's chest. Later, she straddles him on a bed as they make out. A teenage boy and girl hold hands and kiss. Another couple kisses. Talk of teen characters having had sex. Patients discuss womanizing/success with the ladies. A fantasy sequence includes a character surrounded by beautiful women as "arm candy"; in another, the main character imagines his crush in the bath (shoulders/legs shown). A joke plays on multiple meanings for the word "beavers."

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes "s--t," "crap," "laid," "d--k," "ass," "screw," "balls," "crap," "oh my God," "bulls--t," and (once) "f--k." A character gives the finger to someone else.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: MTV, Mac, Gucci, Werther's, and Reese's are mentioned, as are prescription drugs like Zoloft and Atavan.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some talk about using Vicodin. Patients pop their pills. A teen talks about taking prescription Zoloft but goes off it without telling his doctor. A fantasy sequence includes characters holding cocktails. References to a character having done 100 tabs of acid. One character bribes a hospital janitor with pills. Jokes about getting high.

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