it’s kind of a funny story (+ giveaway)

Sunday, October 3, 2010 |

I was at a job interview the other day in Alexandria, and the interviewer asked where I was from (Seattle, in case you’re wondering), and if I could live anywhere, which city I’d live in. I answered Washington, DC. I don’t think the interviewer knew what to do with that answer, especially on an over-warm day following the hottest summer on record.


Before you start listing the relative merits of your own town/city/village/hidey-hole, you must understand that there are a lot of things I hate about this area. I hate the super hot weather, the humidity, the unrelieved black (suits!), and the crazy cold days that seem to come straight out of the blue. But I love living in DC. I like being here because I have loads of friends all around me. An urban family, if you will. I love that they will all come to dinner at the drop of a hat. I love the tourists (yes, really). I love being within walking distance of all the major monuments, and not owning a car. I love the fact that I have the chance to see free films and art all the time. It’s glorious.


Moral of the story: for me it’s not so much the surroundings, but the people I’m with. If the majority of my friends up and moved to Texas, or Greenland, or somewhere even more remote, I’d think pretty hard about moving too. If the Book Depository shipped to wherever-in-the-back-of-beyond, that is! But let’s return to the free films bit – I went to a screening of It’s Kind of a Funny Story the other day (thanks, Filter Magazine!), and I want to share that experience with you.


Adapted from Ned Vizzini's 2006 novel, It's Kind of a Funny Story tells the story of burnt-out teenager Craig (Keir Gilchrist), who checks himself into a mental health clinic citing exhaustion, and finds himself placed in the adult ward due to the fact that the youth ward has been shut down. Taken under the wing of fellow patient Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), the stressed-out 16-year-old attempts to endure his mandatory five days' stay without completely losing his mind.


What I wondered as I walked out of the theater: how many people feel exactly like Craig? Because his peripatetic, jumbled mind seemed to be an exact copy of mine during my years in grad school. A cycle of stress, freaking out, avoiding important things, more stress…it was a road into depression. I think that a lot of kids, young adults, and even adults are going to see this film and identify immediately.


BUT. There’s always a ‘but.’ While I was entertained by Bobby and identified with the protagonist, and liked the music (by Broken Social Scene), I also felt manipulated. Craig goes to a psych ward for five days. Five days…I know it’s enough time to change your life. Still, my cynical side won’t let me believe that it’s enough time to change everyone’s life. So I felt a little cheated. My built-in Eeyore mentality wanted more realism, and not a miraculous ‘everything comes together’ conclusion. But that’s just me.


In the end, It’s Kind of a Funny Story is hopeful and enjoyable, and it aspires to the label of cute indie-flick. It gets three quarters of the way there.


Recommended for: fans of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, people who wish deep down that One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest had a happy ending, the usual complement of smart teens, hipsters looking for a reason to smile (is that a paradox or what?), and those with discerning musical taste.


CUE: Giveaway! If you’d like to win a movie tie-in edition of Vizzini’s novel plus a copy of the film’s CD soundtrack, see the instructions below. One winner will receive both items.


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To enter:


Fill out the FORM. Commenting here will get you an extra entry, but that will only work if you fill out the original form. Giveaway is open internationally, and will end on October 17 at 11:59pm EST. I will notify the randomly selected winner via email.


Good luck!

29 comments:

Vampires and Tofu said...

Do they even make movies without Zach Galifianakis in them anymore lol???
I wish Cuckoo's Nest had a happy ending so count me in =)

willowwind@gmail.com

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

I so need to check this out !
(not an entry)

Amy said...

Hey, it appears I'm a neighbor of sorts --- I live in DC too. Love everything about it, except the hot weather.

I've heard some good things about It's Kind of a Funny Story but I don't think it's for me.

celi.a said...

Amy: Neighbors? Really and truly? Awesome. We should grab coffee sometime!

elizabeth said...

I want to see this movie! It looks good.

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

I've been wondering about this movie! I envy your moving ways. One day I will get out of Southern Missouri!

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I agree that happiness for me is largely based on the people I've surrounded myself with. But, there's also something for me about geography. When I lived in the desert in my early twenties, I was starved for the pine trees and fall leaves and snow piles of New England. Love the desert, but I need the woods!

sRy_ said...

It looks a good movie.
Funny giveaway, too, count me in please :)

Kulsuma said...

Seems like an awesome movie. Five days though? Not sure that's possible.

debbie said...

I saw a trailor for this movie, and I thought it sounded really good.
twoofakind12@yahoo.com

Cass (Words on Paper) said...

Thanks for the review & giveaway. This sounds great!

Sharli said...

Seems like a funny movie :) Zach Galifianakis is awesome so I'll probably check it out. Thanks for the giveaway!

Bethie said...

This looks like a good one! Thanks for the giveaway.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Ryan G said...

It reminds me of a book I read a long time ago about two guys in a mental health institute, I just wish I could remember the name. Sounds like a great movie.

EVA SB said...

When you first started to explain the story I thought if was going to be about the horrors of the mental health system - you know the kind of thing 'Checks in for 5 days finally manages to exscape 5 years later!'

buddyt said...

After reading your review I am not sure I would really like to see the movie or to read the book !

However I am curious by nature, so on the itherhand, Iwould like to see if I agree with your take on it.

So I have entered the giveaway.

carol T

Fi-chan (Bookish-Escape) said...

Thank you for the chance! :D I've wanted to read the book for quite a while. I think I knew there would be a movie, I didn't know that Emma Roberts would be in it!

Mystica said...

I do like your reasons for choosing this city over anywhere else. Sounds most reasonable!!!

Thanks for the giveaway (and much thanks for the international bit).

carolsnotebook said...

The story sounds like it has potential. And I tend to prefer books over movies.

I know what you mean about the people. My town doesn't have that many positives, except its proximity to Pittsburgh, but the people are the reason we choose to live here.

Melody Wilson said...

All my life, I wanted to live in California, so I jumped at the chance a few years ago. When I got there, I realized that happiness is all about who you're with, not where you are. I love being in DC--even on cold days like this!

Also... I entered the giveaway. Thanks!

Alyce said...

It sounds like a nice movie.

I have an off the wall question about it (anyone who knows me well knows that it's my standard question) - are there any scenes of people getting sick to their stomach? That pretty much ruled out Nick and Norah for me. Darn phobia. :)

celi.a said...

Alyce: YES. There are. Unfortunately. Sorry!

Alyce said...

Thanks Celi.a - that saves me from having to be grossed out. :)

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I really want to read this movie!! The book was something I read when I was younger, and I did enjoy it. i think the book is diff than the movie though, from what you said. It's been awhile though. haha

-Lauren
lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

ruthhill74 said...

filled out the form. Thanks for the giveaway.

ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

Zara said...

I'm really looking forward to this movie - I read most of the book, but then I moved and had to return it to the library. :( Thanks for the giveaway!

Lu said...

I just added the title to my to read list! I have to read the book before I see the movie!

lusravesandrants AT gmail DOT com

T.V and Book Addict said...

Sounds like you liked the movie! I had tons of fun watching it :)

I'd love to enter your giveaway!

P.S-I'm so jealous you're from Seattle. A friend of mine is from there and he won't stop talking about how amazing it is. Then there's Sleepless in Seattle...

lcintocable[at]gmail[dot]com

Ashley said...

I haven't seen the movie yet but really want to! Thanks for this contest. :)

booksobsession(at)gmail(dot)com

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