directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden
Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden’s tale of a suicidal teen who checks himself into a NYC hospital is admiral in its attempt to appear fresh and not generic, and in some respects it succeeds. Fleck and Boden scored big time with Half Nelson, a film that featured one of Ryan Gosling’s finest performances (which is really saying something), and in Funny Story, Fleck and Boden manage to get a fantastically underplayed performance by Zach G (which was almost as good as his role in Into the Wild). And it doesn’t hurt that two of my all time faves, Jeremy Davies and Viola Davis, grace us with solidly solid performances. Keir Gilchrist is good as Craig, but I couldn’t help but wonder if deep down, deep deep down, someone really wished that they could have cast Justin Long in the lead. The film stumbles in places and falls into the “it’s a psych ward movie, so we have to have that guy who won’t get out of bed and the guy who shouts things in the hall, right?” trap, but I give Fleck and Boden bonus points for attempting a film that tries to be earnest. For me, the verdict is still out on Emma Roberts and her acting prowess, but I am still excited to see what Fleck and Boden have in store for the future.