She's Funny That Way

"Good"

She's Funny That Way Review


Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks back to those nutty 1970s farces Woody Allen used to make about a group of neurotic urbanites. Actually, filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich used to make those kinds of movies too (1972's What's Up Doc is a classic). But he gives this film an oddly muted tone and uneven cast, which leaves it enjoyably silly even though it's never very funny.

It's set in a version of Manhattan where everyone sees the same shrink, eats in the same restaurant and stays at the same hotel, conveniently. Isabella (Imogen Poots) is working as a hooker, and her next john is Arnold (Owen Wilson), who offers her $30,000 if she gives up being a call girl after tonight and pursues her dream of becoming an actress. Then when she goes for her first Broadway audition, she's shocked to discover that Arnold is the director, and her costars would be his wife Delta (Kathryn Hahn) and leery actor Seth (Rhys Ifans), who knows what she used to do for a living. Another ex-client (Austin Pendleton) is obsessing because Isabella has vanished, so he visits the tetchy therapist Jane (Jennifer Aniston), who not only happens to also be counselling Isabella but is dating the playwright Joshua (Will Forte) who fell for Isabella at her audition.

The entanglement between these seven characters is recounted in flashback as Isabella is interviewed by a jaded Hollywood reporter (Illeana Douglas), so the film has a rather episodic structure as it traces each slapstick encounter between these people. With the plot so ludicrously convoluted, it's up to the actors keep us entertained, and they're a mixed bag. Aniston is surprisingly funny as the short-tempered psychologist who really should be in therapy herself, and Hahn gets the balance just right between the manic emotion and the darker comedy. Ifans has his moments as well, creeping around the corners of most scenes. But Poots never quite convinces in the focal role, while Wilson merely recycles his usual hapless routine and Forte gets lost in the shuffle as the token nice guy.

At least all of the actors dive headlong into the mayhem, creating a brightly goofy vibe. The story's single point is that we shouldn't let someone tell us what makes us happy, repeatedly echoed as characters quote a strange old-movie line: "Why does everyone have to feed nuts to the squirrels? Maybe you want to feed squirrels to the nuts!" Like that line, the movie never quite adds up. But there are several enjoyably madcap and endearingly romantic moments along the way.

Watch the trailer for She's Funny That Way



She's Funny That Way

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedy

Run time: 93 mins

In Theaters: Friday 26th June 2015

Distributed by: Lionsgate Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer: George Drakoulias, Logan Levy, Louise Stratten,

Starring: as Jane, as Izzy, as Arnold, as Delta Simmons, as Josh, as Seth Gilbert, as Nettie Patterson, as Vickie

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