We all know and love Zach Galifianakis as the naive screwball, Alan, from “The Hangover.” He is quirky and hilarious. But, he also can be kind of serious. He shows this somewhat serious side in the 2010 indie dramedy called “It’s Kind of a Funny Story.” It’s not just kind of a funny story, though… it’s hilarious…but it’s also very touching and heartfelt.
This film follows a clinically depressed teenager named Craig (Kier Gilchrist) as he decides to check himself into the psychiatric ward of a hospital. The youth ward, however, is being renovated, so he is put in the adult ward with all kind of wacky characters. One of those characters, Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), takes Craig under his wing and shows him the ropes. They eventually become friends and help make each other better during the one week that Craig is in the hospital.
Like most indie dramedies, this film touches on some dark subject matter (suicide, depression, cutting, etc.) but it deals with it in a lighthearted manner that addresses the issues at hand without an approach that’s too heavy. It’s really a wonder of tactful filmmaking.
The acting is also fantastic. Galifianakis is surprisingly good in his semi-serious role. Of course he makes us laugh, but he also shows his acting chops in some enormously powerful scenes. The real star, however, is Gilchrist who has been in a handful of projects playing small roles but is now a main character in Diablo Cody’s TV series “United States of Tara.” Gilchrist plays Craig with the right mix of “shy, emotionally cut-off child” and “young man, growing into adulthood.” The supporting cast is solid, as well, with the likes of Jim Gaffigan, Viola Davis, Emma Roberts, and Lauren Graham.
Check out the trailer below, then rent the film or get it on Netflix because it is awesome!