It's Kind of a Funny Story is not a funny movie. Nor is it a sincere, compelling, or interesting one. That a pair of indie-favorite filmmakers would attempt a teenager's version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is not a big shock; that Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, co-directors of the very fine films Half Nelson and Sugar, would turn in such a mawkish, cloying, and uncomfortable film absolutely is.
Funny Story is about a personality-bereft 16-year-old, Craig (Keir Gilchrist), who is suffering from daddy pressures, and so he checks himself in to a nearby clinic. As expected, the facility is overflowing with lunatics both sweet and allegedly endearing, and it's here that our central character discovers all sorts of valuable life lessons. Actually what he absorbs are cliches, stereotypes, facile platitudes, and Hallmark card-deep sentiments about how to live your life happy and stress-free. If I told you there was a lovable lug in the ward (played by Zack Galafinakis) and a wounded young hottie (Emma Roberts), would that fill in the rest of the plot synopsis for you? Don't even get me started on the college entrance exam our poor little whiner is forever worried about ... he's only doing it because DAD wants it, y'know.