Entertainment » Movies

Funny Story

by Roger Walker-Dack
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Sunday Sep 23, 2018
'Funny Story'
'Funny Story'  

This film is appearing in the Reeling Film Festival in Chicago. http://reelingfilmfestival.org/

Calling a movie "Funny Story" is a brave move. It can lead to unfulfilled expectations, especially when your plot includes a fair share of tragic incidents, too. This feature from Michael J Gallagher, whose work is usually created for the small screen, is full of good intentions, and it does at least start off full of laughs; but then it gets way too muddled to be really funny.

The film starts with Walter (Matthew Glave), an aging actor who has made a comfortable living out of once having played an action hero who has reached cult figure status. He may have only had one role on the screen, but in his personal life he has had several; the movie starts with him trying to dump his latest young girlfriend, (Daiyse Tutor), who is far too interested in her cellphone to listen to him. But when he announces "We're finished," she counters with, "I'm pregnant."

Later, when Nic (Jana Winternitz), his estranged adult daughter, phones Walter, he is unable to break the news and invites himself to come stay with her on her vacation in Big Sur. She reluctantly agrees, but then asks him to give her friend Kim (Emily Bett Rickards) a ride, as her car has broken down. Kim, however, is hardly a perfect traveling companion, as she seems angry with the world in general - and with Walter (whom she has never met before) in particular. However, that doesn't stop her putting the moves on him that night.

What had been an odd couple road movie morphs into something much more difficult and awkward when they arrive at the vacation house. The place is packed with women, and Nic comes out to her startled father with the announcement that Kim is, in fact, her fiance - and the two plan to marry the very next day.

Walter has two pieces of major news that he has to tell Nic, but he is faced with the dilemma of trying to decide if and how he should share them with her as she prepares for what could be a doomed marriage.

Up to this point the movie is deliciously funny, thanks in part to the pitch-perfect performances of the three main actors. Walter's awkwardness with his daughter's sexuality is handled clumsily, and seems some out of keeping with a man who has lived and worked in Hollywood all his life. The muddle that follows (which we cannot go into without spoilers) takes some of the gloss off the humor, but it has its heart in the right place. You want this engaging drama to succeed. 

Funny Story

Funny Story is a tragicomedy you didn't see coming! After years of being a neglectful father, a womanizing TV star unknowingly crashes his estranged daughter's same-sex destination wedding. This delightfully dark comedy takes us on a California coastal road trip full of dreams, love, disillusionment and lots of Sapphic hijinks, and teaches us about the destructive power of narcissism, the healing power of forgiveness, and our willingness to do karaoke after drinking enough tequila. This is a wedding we would all love to be invited to!


Runtime :: 87 mins
Release Date :: Jan 01, 2018
Country :: USA


Roger Walker-Dack, a passionate cinephile, is a freelance writer, critic and broadcaster and the author/editor of three blogs. He divides his time between Miami Beach and Provincetown.


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