It’s Kind of a Funny Story (Movie)

Movie Info
It’s Kind of a Funny Story
DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011
Focus Features
Rated [PG-13]
101 Minutes

Plot Summary
After talking himself out of jumping off of the Brooklyn Bridge, sixteen-year-old Craig Gilner decides to have himself admitted. At the hospital, Dr. Mahmoud agrees to admit Craig for a one week stay in the hospital’s psychiatric wing. While working through his depression and perceived shortcomings, Craig befriends an adult patient named Bobby. Through the course of the week, the two form a rather close bond and motivate each other to face the things they are nervous or afraid about. For Bobby, it’s leaving the ward to be a father to his little girl, and for Craig it’s getting the courage and self confidence to ask out the girl he likes. But will they both be changed for the better?

Reader’s Annotation
After contemplating suicide, Craig has himself admitted to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation and week-long monitoring. At first, he’s not sure what he got himself in to, but it turns out to be a life-changing experience for almost everyone involved.

Critical Evaluation
It’s Kind of a Funny Story is the film adaptation of Ned Vizzini’s novel of the same name. The movie deals with the issues of teen depression, pressures that teens often feel from their families to meet their expectations, and feelings of inadequacy. This film brilliantly takes these issues head-on and shows the audience that they can be overcome. It offers a comedic and lighthearted take on some rather heavy subjects, with a little romance thrown in there as well. It serves as a sort of coming of age story, but for people of all ages and mental and emotional state. The film delivers a positive message and is something that many teens and adults can relate to.

Coming of Age

Curriculum Ties

Booktalking Ideas
Discuss Craig’s relationship with Bobby. How do they help each other?

What is the definition of mental illness?

Reading Level/ Interest Age

Challenge Issues

  • Attempted suicide
  • Depression
  • Mental Illness

Defense options

  • Be aware of your library’s collection development policy.
  • Be familiar with the material in question, and the context of the questionable content.
  • Assert the principles of the ALA Library Bill of Rights, and standards of intellectual freedom.
  • Consult online reviews, and others who are familiar with the material.

Why Included?
Many teens suffer from depression and this movie is a great example of how everyone is broken, and things can and do get better. I think a lot of teens would be able to commiserate with the characters and situations portrayed in the movie.


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