George, a lonely and fatalistic teen who has made it all the way to his senior year without ever having done a real day of work, is befriended by Sally, a popular but complicated girl who recognizes in him a kindred spirit.
High schooler Greg, who spends most of his time making parodies of classic movies with his co-worker Earl, finds his outlook forever altered after befriending a classmate who has just been diagnosed with cancer.
Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.
Craig is a high-school junior, in the gifted program, infatuated with his best friend's girl. When he realizes he's suicidal, he checks himself into the psychiatric ward of a hospital, thinking they'll do an observation, help him, and send him home in time for school the next day. Once in, however, he must stay for a week; the juvenile ward is being renovated, so he's in with adults as well as a few youths. Bobby, a man with a young daughter, shows him around; Craig notices Noelle, about his age. He tries to keep his friends from finding out where he is. Little things: he draws, goes to therapy, sings, helps Bobby rehearse an interview. Is this the stuff of insight? Written by
The film is an adaptation of Ned Vizzini's 2006 novel of the same name. The book was inspired by Vizzini's own brief hospitalization for depression in November 2004. In 2013, Vizzini committed suicide at the age of 32 by jumping off the roof of the building where his parents lived in Brooklyn. See more »
When Bobby and Craig sneak to the gym to play basketball, you can see them wearing their shoes with the laces on, although we see these being taken away from Craig when he is committed and he is told that they can't allow patients in with their shoelace. See more »
Written by Common, Kanye West and Choker Campbell
Performed by Common
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Contains sample of "Mother Nature"
Performed by Albert Jones
Courtesy of 24-7 New Music See more »
My 359th Review: Clearly one of the better films of 2010: Fleck / Boden do it again
Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden are, in this reviewer's opinion, the best writer / director team working in film today. Both Half Nelson and Sugar (Which made my top 5 for 2008) were good and here they go more mainstream and produce a simple yet vibrant low-fi comedy. If you go expecting the Hangover, a full on comedy, then this might take some adjusting to - it is more than that. It reminded us most of the same vibe Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist had.
Craig (Keir Gilchrist) is an angsty teen and checks himself into a psych ward for 5 days. He is excellent, like a cross between Justin Long and Michael Cera and should get good work off the back of this. Here Craig meets the wizened Bobby (Zack Galifianakis), who has a complete emotional range here, his hangdog is perfect and watched closely you'll see every thought and facial gesture with real pleasure, and a teenage girl his age, Noelle (Emma Roberts). The supporting cast have groupworked this really well and it all just gels nicely. The film is a journey of self- discovery.
What lifts this is it doesn't have a mean bone in its body yet delivers beautifully - this film is firstly, optimistic about pessimism and abounds with humor, laughter, and originality, and secondly, Fleck again coxes the the actors to simply act, without excess.
It does a wonderful balancing act of making us see the world afresh too. In addition to all this it is totally refreshing to see a teen movie that is about teens and their world and not just another slapstick sex comedy.
I could only wish for 20 films a year like this, rather than the cookie cutter production values that govern Hollywood. The common trait in all three films are honesty, struggle, and eventually, something more. That's three in a row for Fleck / Boden - and I, for one, can't wait to see the fourth...
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