Zach GalifianakisI saw Dinner for Schmucks this weekend, and one of the many trailers before the movie was for It's Kind of a Funny Story. Story is about Craig, a teen who suffers from depression and signs himself into a mental ward, where he finds insight, love, etc.. You can watch the trailer here.

It stars Keir Gilchrist as Craig, Emma Roberts as Noelle, the self-loathing love interest, and Zach Galifianakis as Bobby, a wacky older guy who takes Craig under his wing. (I can't wait to see what kind of problems they saddle Noelle with, since in the trailer she asks Craig if he thinks she's "gross-looking." Awesome! Eating disorder? Cutter? Borderline personality disorder? I bet Craig helps heal her with his love and acceptance because he's sensitive and stuff.)

It looks funny and poignant until it gets to the point where we get a sense of the pain behind Bobby's facade. "My daughter is better off without me," he tells Craig. At this point, my friend turned to me and whispered, "Oh God, he's doing the Robin Williams role!" This is never a good thing.

The best thing Williams has done recently, in my opinion, was Bobcat Goldthwait's pitch-black comedy World's Greatest Dad, which gave Williams the chance to show off the acting chops we once saw in The World According to Garp, Dead Poets Society, Good Will Hunting, The Fisher King, and One Hour Photo. Unfortunately, those movies were interspersed with stuff like Patch Adams, What Dreams May Come, Jakob The Liar, RV, and other missteps. Oh, and License to Wed. And Old Dogs -- never forget Old Dogs.
Besides Galifianakis' turn in Schmucks as Therman the mind controlling IRS weirdo who stole Barry's wife -- which, in addition to Jemaine Clement's all-too-brief appearances onscreen as the sex freak artist Kieran, was fairly funny in an otherwise schmuck-tastic movie -- Galifianakis has many, many upcoming projects. There's Bored to Death, The Hangover 2, Due Date, Reply All, his admittedly hilarious Funny or Die "Between Two Ferns" videos, and a bunch of other optioned properties. His humor is generally of the awkward, somewhat painful to watch variety -- deadpan, straight-faced, sort of pathetic -- but if he turns to the more generic tears of a clown type of roles that Story threatens, he's headed towards a slippery Williams slope.

What do you think? Do you dig Galifianakis' shtick, or is it beginning to wear on you?

categories Movies, Cinematical