It's Kind of a Funny Story (film)

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It's Kind of a Funny Story
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAnna Boden
Ryan Fleck
Screenplay byAnna Boden
Ryan Fleck
Based onIt's Kind of a Funny Story
by Ned Vizzini
Produced byKevin Misher
Ben Browning
CinematographyAndrij Parekh
Edited byAnna Boden
Music byBroken Social Scene
Misher Films
Wayfare Entertainment
Distributed byFocus Features
Release dates
  • September 26, 2010 (2010-09-26) (Milwaukee)
  • October 8, 2010 (2010-10-08) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8 million[1]
Box office$6.5 million[2]

It's Kind of a Funny Story is a 2010 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, an adaptation of Ned Vizzini's 2006 novel of the same name. The film stars Keir Gilchrist, Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, and Viola Davis.[3] It was released in the United States on October 8, 2010, and received generally positive reviews.


After contemplating suicide, 16-year-old Craig Gilner decides to go to the hospital to seek help. Craig tells Dr. Mahmoud that he needs immediate help, to which he is registered for a one-week stay at the adult ward on the hospital's psychiatric floor.

Craig has a lot of pressure at his high school, Executive Pre-Professional. He is stressed over the need to turn in an application for a prestigious summer school, his shortcomings in the shadow of his best friend Aaron, whom he considers to be great at everything; and his dad, who pressures him to do well. At first, Craig is uncertain if he made the right choice to stay, fearing that his friends may find out where he is, especially Nia, his crush and Aaron's girlfriend.

Craig is introduced to Bobby, an adult patient who takes Craig under his wing. During a group discussion, Craig learns that Bobby is stressed about an upcoming interview in hopes of moving to a group home. When Bobby states that all he will have to wear for the interview is the sweater he is currently wearing, Craig offers him one of his dad's dress shirts to wear, and he accepts. Craig's kind offer to Bobby is witnessed by Noelle, another teenage patient who is in for self-harm. Impressed by Craig, Noelle leaves him a note to meet with her that night. Together, they attend a painting session for patients. Craig paints a picture of an imaginary city map which he describes as "like my own brain".

Throughout his stay, Craig forms close bonds with various patients, including Bobby and Noelle. Bobby reveals to Craig that he is a father of a little girl, and that he is in the ward for attempting to kill himself six times. As Craig tries to help Bobby with his problems, Bobby, in return, helps Craig gain the courage to ask out Noelle.

One night, Nia stops by to visit Craig, revealing that she and Aaron have broken up. Craig invites Nia to his room, where she tries to seduce him. However, the two are interrupted by Craig's roommate Muqtada, an older patient who has not left the room during his stay. As Nia runs out, Craig chases her and states that he loves her, unaware that Noelle is standing behind him. Upset, Noelle storms off, leaving behind a self-portrait that she had planned to give Craig.

Craig eventually wins Noelle's forgiveness, and the pair briefly sneak out of the ward, ending up on the hospital roof. There, Noelle asks him out, and they kiss. Craig has an interview with the head physician, Dr. Minerva; he explains that he has realized that he wants to become an artist, and says he should be thankful that his problems aren't as bad as those of the others.

That night, Craig gets the staff to arrange a pizza party, so the patients can say goodbye to him and Bobby—both are being discharged the following day. Craig calls Aaron asking him to bring a record. When Aaron arrives, he tells Craig that he and Nia are working out their problems and they hug. At the party, Craig plays the record of Egyptian music, which brings Muqtada out of his room. Craig tells Bobby that they should meet again after they are discharged, which Bobby considers, and he thanks Craig for changing his outlook on life.

After Craig is discharged, it is shown that he has started dating Noelle, became better friends with Aaron and Nia, and has begun pursuing his goal of becoming an artist. He has broken the news to his dad that he is not going to follow his path, which his dad understands. Craig affirms that, while his stay didn't cure his condition, it helped him a lot, and he can get through the rest of his life with the help of his family and friends.



Ned Vizzini, writer of the novel, and Keir Gilchrist, leading actor in the film, at 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.

In May 2006, Paramount Pictures and MTV Films acquired the film rights to the novel. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck were hired to adapt the screenplay.[4][5] The film was later placed in turnaround and bought by Focus Features.[1]

Production began in New York City on November 30, 2009.[3] Principal photography took about six weeks, ending on February 2, 2010.[6] Scenes taking place in the fictional Executive Pre-Professional High School were shot at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn,[7] while Woodhull Medical Center in Brooklyn stood in for Argenon Hospital.[6]

As of May 13, 2010, the film completed editing.[8] Canadian indie rock band Broken Social Scene worked on the score for the film.[9]


The film was originally scheduled for a limited release in the United States on September 24, 2010.[10] Focus Features later opted for a wide release of approximately 500 theaters across the US and a release date of October 8, 2010.[11] The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival.[12]

To coincide with the film's release, Hyperion Books published a new edition of the novel, featuring photos from the film on the cover.[13]

The film aired on HBO cable in the summer of 2011.[14]

Critical response[edit]

As of January 2020, the film holds a 57% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 136 reviews with an average rating of 6.00/10. The critics consensus states "It's amiable, and it does a surprisingly good job of sidestepping psych ward comedy clichés, but given its talented cast and directors, It's Kind of a Funny Story should be more than just mildly entertaining."[15] On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 63, based on 33 reviews, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews".[16]

Justin Chang of Variety wrote: "The filmmakers fully retain their offbeat sensibility and attentiveness to character while providing perhaps the sharpest showcase yet for Zach Galifianakis' outsized talents."[17] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote: "I don't blame you for backing off a movie that focuses on a suicidal teen who learns warm life lessons by spending five days in a Brooklyn hospital's psych ward. Stop worrying. It's Kind of a Funny Story, based on Ned Vizzini's semiautobiographical novel, breaks the jinx."[18]

Michael Rechtshaffen of The Hollywood Reporter called it "A dramatically inert, lethargic dramedy that isn't nearly as quirky and poignant as it perceives itself."[19] Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post gave the film a negative review, saying "There's very little that's even kind of funny in It's Kind of a Funny Story, which can't accurately be described as a comedy but isn't a true drama, either."[20]

Home media[edit]

It's Kind of a Funny Story was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on February 8, 2011.[15]


  1. ^ a b Zeitchik, Steven (August 10, 2009). "Focus is on 'Funny'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 1, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  2. ^ It's Kind of a Funny Story at Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ a b Sciretta, Peter (November 30, 2009). "Ryan Fleck's It's Kind of a Funny Story Begins Production". /Film (slashfilm). Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  4. ^ Zeitchik, Steven (September 15, 2009). "Zach Galifianakis eyes 'Funny Story'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 24, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  5. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (May 11, 2006). "Par, MTV tell Vizzini's 'Story'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  6. ^ a b Vizzini, Ned (February 2, 2010). "Crust Punk and Terror -- a final report from It's Kind of a Funny Story". Ned Vizzini's blog at Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  7. ^ Vizzini, Ned (January 5, 2010). "The Bends, the Brooklyn Bridge, & an Unheard-of Canadian Band -- on the set of It's Kind of a Funny Story". Ned Vizzini's blog at Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  8. ^ Vizzini, Ned (May 13, 2010). "Trailers: Go Getcher Money's Worth". Ned Vizzini's blog at Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  9. ^ MacRae, Kate (May 27, 2010). "Broken Social Scene's Justin Peroff Forms Side-Project With Stills Members". Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  10. ^ Subers, Ray (May 19, 2010). "MPAA Ratings: 'Toy Story 3,' 'Grown Ups,' 'Sorcerer's Apprentice' & More". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved June 12, 2010.
  11. ^ Vizzini, Ned (August 17, 2010). "Quick Update: IT'S KIND OF A FUNNY STORY: Poster and New, **Wider** Release Date (October 8, 2010)". Ned Vizzini's blog. Archived from the original on August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  12. ^ "TORONTO: Does Deal Flurry Bean Biz is Back?". Deadline: Hollywood.
  13. ^ Vizzini, Ned (July 29, 2010). "It's Kind of a Funny Story Tie-In Edition, Reader Art, and Facebook Graffiti Art Contest". Ned Vizzini's blog. Archived from the original on August 23, 2010. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  14. ^ "HBO Schedule". yes. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
  15. ^ a b "It's Kind of a Funny Story Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  16. ^ "It's Kind of a Funny Story". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  17. ^ Chang, Justin (12 September 2010). "It's Kind of a Funny Story". Variety.
  18. ^ Travers, Peter (7 October 2010). "It's Kind of a Funny Story". Rolling Stone.
  19. ^ Michael Rechtshaffen (September 12, 2010). "It's Kind of a Funny Story -- Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 13 September 2010.
  20. ^ Ann Hornaday. "Critic Review for It's Kind of a Funny Story on". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 14 October 2010.

External links[edit]