It's Kind of a Funny Story
Saw It's Kind of a Funny Story over the weekend, it had a concept I couldn't refuse; a comedy about a teenager who checks into a mental hospital only to immediately realize he doesn't want to be there, but can't leave until he completes a mandatory 5-day stay. This might sound weird, but I'm a big fan of the mental illness genre! I always find it interesting to see a seemingly normal person put in a situation where they're surrounded by irrationally strange people. They always usually end with the normal person realizing he's crazier than he thinks, or the crazy people end up more human than the normal person. Either way I enjoy the contrast.
Now, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest this was not, it's much more of a lighthearted comedy. In fact, it was rather blunt at times with it's lightheartedness. There were moments scattered about that were dark and seemed very real, but overall the filmmakers kind of forced a quirky, almost jokey attitude that I do understand why they did it, but at the same time might have taken away from the film as well. For example there was a musical therapy scene at one point, where the main character and the regulars were to perform "Under Pressure" by Queen & David Bowie with an odd assortment of random instruments, but instead of actually showing them play the song, it went into a sort of music video fantasy sequence to my disappointment. They missed out on what could have been the most memorable scene of the film, actually watching these mental patients do their musical therapy. The fantasy sequence was fun, but it wasn't really impactful, and I felt like it was unnecessary. They could have had an inspiring, or at the very least interesting moment with that scene. And every 4 scenes were like that, pushing on forced stylistic choices in a movie that would have been better if it were much more subtle in its approach. But I understand it's a quirky comedy, and in the end, I did like the tone overall, even if the message could have used a little work. The kid didn't learn enough about himself, he mainly just learned about other people, then vaguely compared himself to them.
I'm not sure I'd ever see it again, but I am really happy I saw it this one time. I don't want to come across like the filmmaker did a bad job with this movie, I thought they made a nice little picture, but I just question some of the choices. Again, mainly the stylistic choices. If this were basically the same script (maybe a bit less obvious with the "just live your life" message), but done with more restraint, this could have been one of my favorite films of the year. For now though, it's just one of the best feel good movies you'll see that takes place in a mental hospital.
This is the first I have heard about this movie - it doesn't look too bad actually. Potentially good if they don't try to turn it into a shallow comedy. It is certainly not being advertised as a quirky comedy. I might pay $1 at Redbox for this.
[Scott Roberts] "And every 4 scenes were like that, pushing on forced stylistic choices in a movie that would have been better if it were much more subtle in its approach."
Now, Scott. You have seen enough movies to know that "subtle" is not something Hollywood does.
Haha, ain't that the truth. And why should Hollywood be subtle when it can still make vast amounts of money off of painfully unsubtle projects, like say, the entire filmography of Tyler Perry?
(yeah! I went for the random cheap shot at Tyler Perry! In your face, Perry! In your overwhelmingly rich face...)
The perception of what you expect from a movie is so colored by the quality of the marketing for it. I can think of several movies where the marketing was poor or ill-conceieved, and people never "found" the movie until later in DVD release. Usually in these situations the film is mis-characterized, often, when one of the stars in it, or the director, is known mostly for one kind of film, but is "breaking out" to "go in a new direction".
Lot of good films never got seen because of this, and a lot of bad films got a huge opening weekend out of it, only to die off by the second week from the word of mouth about how disappointing it was, compared to the expectations raised.