Walter Campbell (Matthew Glave) is an aging heartthrob struggling to keep up appearances— especially with his estranged adult daughter, Nic (Jana Winternitz). In an attempt to reconnect with his family, he invites himself to crash her vacation in Big Sur. Offering a ride to her friend Kim (Emily Bett Rickards), they bond in unexpected ways that are sure to ruin the lives of everyone in their path. From director Michael Gallagher comes a hilarious and heartfelt tragicomedy you never saw coming. Filled with memorable characters and award-winning performances, Funny Story teaches us about the destructive power of narcissism, the healing power of forgiveness, and the dangers of doing karaoke after drinking enough tequila.
What We Thought:
Funny Story is one of those movies we don’t see too often anymore outside film festivals. Most studio films are big tent poles and blockbusters and little story/character driven films like this go under the radar because of it. And it’s a shame because it’s an entertaining movie.
Matthew Glave plays an actor best known for a Hercules/Xena type show back in the day. His daughter wants to tell him some news so he decides to meet up with her on his way to a convention. His daughter’s friend’s car breaks down and she tags along with him. A few too many drinks between the pair lead to lines being crossed that could ultimately damage all three lives. The synopsis above doesn’t say what exactly happens and how everyone is interconnected so I won’t spoil that in case you don’t know.
Emily Bett Rickards (best known for TV’s Arrow) plays the daughter’s friend and she has great chemistry with Glave. Her character is dealing with the death of her mother so it’s understandable why she responds to Glave’s character’s charm. Their scenes together are very easy to watch as are her scenes with Jana Winternitz who plays the daughter.
It’s also one of those movies that shows characters we are only just now seeing more of on screen. The women are pretty much all lesbians, but it doesn’t beat you over the head with any kind of agenda. They are just gay women who are all friends trying to find love and be happy. It doesn’t push anything on the audience, it just shows people being who they are and enjoying life together. You have to respect a movie showing people just being people and the story works because of it.
Funny Story feels honest and genuine. The characters are highly relatable because you can feel their struggle, their doubts and their love for one another. The ending almost bothered me a bit, but then it righted itself. One character seemed to take most of the blame, but then it shifted to the right person and I love that they went that way. A nice little surprise of a film.
In theaters and On Demand May 24th
Distributor: Blue Fox Entertainment
Production Company: Cinemand Films
Directed by: Michael Gallagher
Written by: Michael Gallagher, Steve Greene
Produced by: Michael Gallagher, Jana Winternitz, Michael Wormser
Starring: Matthew Glave, Emily Bett Rickards, Jana Winternitz – With Nikki Limo, Lily Holleman, Jessica Diggins, Aschleigh Jensen, Jacob Wysocki, Pete Gardner, Reginald VelJohnson
Genre: Comedy/Drama/ LGBTQ
Run Time: 85 minutes
Not Rated – English – USA