I forget how I heard about this movie. I think it was just the commercials I kept seeing. As one of the possibly millions of people who saw The Hangover, I’ve kind of fallen slightly for Zach Galifianakis. Not like love or anything (I did see Due Date, after all), but I have a respect for him. He always plays these really cornball characters that have a good heart. That takes a little skill.
Craig is a 16-year-old in New York City. This means that in order to actually stand out in the crowd, he’s got to be intensely competitive about…well, everything. He goes to a prestigious school for the exceptionally smart, though he doesn’t really know how he got in. All of this presses on Craig until it becomes too much and he begins feeling suicidal. He checks himself into the hospital only to discover he has to stay a minimum of five days. But maybe the hospital isn’t as bad as he thinks it is. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll learn something while he’s there.
I thought this was an insanely cute movie. Craig narrates the whole thing, which gave it a little something extra than just watching him do things. You can really understand why he feels so stressed out. They go through the trouble of making sure that is abundantly clear to you. They show you how even though he has friends and family around him, no one is really listening to him. You understand why Craig has reached this point.
The characters are fantastic as well. From Galifianakis’s Bobby to Emma Roberts’s Noelle to the more minor characters of Humble and Muqtada, there’s always someone to love. I was surprised by how many people I recognized in it. Viola Davis (The Help) plays a psychiatrist, Jim Gaffigan (comedian known for his jokes about Hot Pockets) plays Craig’s father, and Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) plays his mother. Also, the boy who plays Craig’s best friend Aaron plays Link in the upcoming adaptation of Beautiful Creatures. Thought I’d throw that in there as well.
A cinematic decision the director made completely made the movie for me. There are times when Craig flashes back to his childhood or chooses to see reality in a different light. It was creative, funny, and touching. I laughed myself silly during one particular scene meant to look like the 80s.
Ultimately, it’s a story of a boy who is trying to cope with what is bothering him while helping others around him cope with their struggles as well. It was cute, touching, and just incredibly funny. I liked watching Craig grow as a person over the movie.
P.S. if you do watch this, make sure you go to the bonus features and find the outtakes. I again laughed myself silly watching Galifianakis change his lines with every take, Keir Gilchrist (Craig) try to keep composure as others make completely outlandish comments, and little behind-the-scenes moments. It was great. I’m surprised it hasn’t gotten more attention considering how awesome it is.