Zach Galifianakis, Keir Gilchrist, Lauren Graham, and Emma Roberts star in this uplifting comedy about finding sanity in the most unlikely of places. Sometimes what’s in your head isn’t as crazy as you think…that’s certainly true for Craig (Gilchrist), a stressed out teenager who checks himself into a mental health clinic for some time out. What he finds instead is an unlikely mentor (Galifianakis) a potential new romance (Roberts) and an opportunity to begin anew. Charming, witty, and smart, it’s a coming-of-age story that’s kind of a funny story. (DVD)
So, after watching this, I see it as more of a black comedy, in the same vain as Little Miss Sunshine, than an actual classic comedy. That being said though, some parts of it are really funny. This is like the third Zach Galifianakis movie I’ve seen recently, and this was his best one. He wasn’t some zany off-the-wall character, he was an honest human being, He had some really great acting moments, as well as usual ridiculous stuff (see the scene where he pretends to be a girl so Craig can practice asking Noelle (Emma Roberts character) out) Emma Roberts was a pleasant surprise, and Craig Gilchrist did a nice job too. I’ll be honest, at the beginning, I was like, ok Craig is seriously over exaggerating. He wants to kill himself over a summer program application, the fact that he likes his best friend’s girlfriend, his future among other things? But where Gilchrist did a nice job is where he explains that all of those things pile up and it causes him a lot of stress, and when that’s paired with his depression, that’s what freaks him out, then I understood. The nice thing about this movie (and something Zach Galifianakis said in an interview about it) is that every single person can find some way that they are like the characters, which total credit for that is given to the writers and actors. Lastly, Lauren Graham and Viola Davis as Craig’s mom and the head psychiatrist, respectively, are under appreciated, (as they often are, in my opinion) They both add depth to fairly simple roles. So yeah, this is kind of a funny movie with some really nice moments that leaves the viewer with an uplifting feeling at the end.
In another entirely different vein, I don’t understand why people found this movie offensive. They said it trivialized people with actual mental illnesses. However, I disagree. I think that it brought to light that anyone can have a mental illness, and took away the social stereotypes and stigmas. As for Craig himself, like I mentioned earlier, once he explained his feelings, they made sense. Also, I think the point was that he grew to appreciate what he had at home, a family who loves him, friends, a home, he’s really smart, and he’s talented. He actually said at the end that he learned how to appreciate everything. Also, I think another point made was that someone’s life is always worse than yours. For every time you get pissed about something breaking in your house, be thankful you have a house. That kind of thing. Anyway, rant over, I just think this under appreciated movie needs to be seen more 🙂