Funny Pages (film)

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Funny Pages
Funny Pages.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byOwen Kline
Written byOwen Kline
Produced by
Edited by
  • Owen Kline
  • Erin Dewitt
Music bySean O'Hagan
  • A24
  • Elara Pictures
Distributed byA24
Release dates
  • May 24, 2022 (2022-05-24) (Cannes)
  • August 26, 2022 (2022-08-26) (United States)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States

Funny Pages is a 2022 American coming-of-age black comedy film written, directed, and edited by Owen Kline.[1] It premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and was released in the United States on August 26, 2022.


Robert Bleichner, a high school student and aspiring cartoonist, meets with his art teacher, Mr. Katano, at his school classroom. After Katano looks over Robert's portfolio, Katano asks Robert to make a nude figure drawing of him. Before completing the drawing, Robert's phone alarm goes off and he leaves for work. Outside, Katano attempts to talk with Robert. While trying to ensure the interaction did not make him uncomfortable, Katano is suddenly struck and killed by a car.

Later, Robert attempts to gather anything of sentimental value from his late mentor. After rummaging through Katano's classroom, Robert and his friend, Miles, attempt to break into Katano's apartment. As the police arrive at the scene, Miles escapes while Robert is apprehended. Robert enlists the help of Cheryl, the public defender for his trial. He is not charged and is allowed to keep Katano's possessions. Shortly after being released, Robert meets with his parents, Lewis and Jennifer, at a diner. He proclaims that he wants to pursue a career in art and will not be finishing the school year, to his parents' disappointment.

Seeking independence, Robert leaves his parents' house and moves to Trenton, New Jersey, where he shares a dingy apartment with two older men, Barry and Steven. Robert takes a job working for Cheryl as a notetaker while continuing to work at a local comic book store.

Robert attends a meeting with Cheryl and her client, Wallace, who is seeking legal counsel after an attempted assault on a pharmacist. While taking notes, Robert learns that Wallace used to work for Image Comics as an assistant colorist. The next day, Robert attempts several times to connect with Wallace over his comic book career but is met with Wallace's erratic and volatile behavior. Before driving home, Robert offers Wallace, who hastily accepts, a ride home. During the ride, Wallace coerces Robert to drive to the pharmacy where he was charged with assault. Wallace instructs Robert to provoke the pharmacist in an attempt to get him fired, believing it will help with his case. Robert reluctantly agrees in order to earn Wallace's approval. In an unsuccessful attempt to gather incriminating evidence, Robert throws a rubber horse at the pharmacist and flees the scene.

Robert drops off a disgruntled Wallace. Desperate for professional guidance, Robert offers to pay Wallace for a drawing lesson. Wallace agrees when Robert suggests they could meet at his parents' house in Princeton, New Jersey. Later that night, Robert moves back home after walking in on Barry and Steven masturbating to Katano's adult comics at their apartment.

When Wallace arrives the next morning, Lewis and Jennifer are immediately suspicious of Wallace. An increasingly uncomfortable Wallace locks himself in the bathroom and smashes a window in frustration. Robert takes Wallace up to his room and pays him with the money he stole from his mother's purse. Miles arrives unannounced and tries to show Wallace his work. During the lesson, Wallace finds Robert's comic parodying him and his misadventures. In a fit of rage, Wallace lambasts the boys and attempts to take Miles' comic from his hands. In the ensuing scuffle, Miles is accidentally stabbed in the head with a pen. Wallace attempts to flee the house by stealing Robert's car, but he crashes it into the garage.

Robert chases Wallace on foot, then Wallace beats up Robert and tells him to leave him alone. A broken and bruised Robert stumbles to the closed comic book store. He sits at the counter and contemplates what just happened.



The film premiered at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in the Directors' Fortnight on May 24, 2022, where it received a three-minute standing ovation.[2]

Critical response[edit]

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 83% of 99 critics' reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The website's consensus reads, "It won't be for all tastes, but Funny Pages deserves credit for telling a coming-of-age story that leans heavier on cringe comedy than nostalgia."[3] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 73 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[4]


  1. ^ Bradshaw, Peter (May 24, 2022). "Funny Pages review – a deliciously dark coming-of-age comedy". The Guardian. Retrieved July 20, 2022.
  2. ^ "#Cannes2022 – Funny Pages – Présentation et réception du film". May 24, 2022. Retrieved July 20, 2022 – via YouTube.
  3. ^ "Funny Pages". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 30, 2022.
  4. ^ "Funny Pages". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved August 25, 2022.

External links[edit]