She’s Funny That Way
Directed by Peter Bogdanovich
Written by Louise Stratten and Peter Bogdanovich
Starring: Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, Kathryn Hahn, Will Forte, Rhys Ifans, and Jennifer Aniston
After an encounter with a director (Wilson), a New York call girl (Poots) is encouraged by him to follow her dreams of becoming an actress. She then gets a part in his new play alongside his wife, and his wife’s former lover. The call girl then winds up entangled between the director, the playwright (Hader), and a former client who is more than a little infatuated with her.
She’s Funny That Way excels as an ensemble piece for the talented cast. The film balances the vast cast well, each of the stories is given the amount of time each of the individual need. None of the character’s stories is underserved while none completely dominates the entire picture. There is the main story that runs throughout the whole movie, but it balances well with the sub stories sprinkled throughout the film. That is the tricky thing about doing an ensemble piece well is achieving that balance. She’s Funny That Way also works because tonally it is reminiscent of old Woody Allen or Wes Anderson movies. She’s Funny That Way having this Allen/Anderson type tone is unsurprising because Wes Anderson is a credited producer on the film. I do not know how involved Anderson was in the creative process of making the film, but because it feels like one of his movies I would bet that it is more than just a vanity credit. The movie was well-written. Aside from the balance of the ensemble, the script had smart, witty, and well-developed humor that mostly based on the dialog. Many comedies, especially comedies with an R rating, are focused on gross-out humor and profanity. It was nice to see an R-rated comedy that relied on the wit of the dialog.
While She’s Funny That Way excels in many places; there are minor, nit-picky things that bugged me in the movie. One was Poots’ Brooklyn accent. It was not a horrible accent, but it was defiantly a manufactured accent. When it comes to accents, you need to be able to go yeah she pulled it off if the accent is manufactured it can get a little irksome. The other is the sub-story of the call girl’s infatuated former client. That plot line did not need to be there, but because the film is well balanced between all the stories it is given all it needs to be given.
Overall, She’s Funny That Way was an enjoyable comedy with an old screwball tone and a well-balanced ensemble. However, some minor things throughout the film keep it from achieving flawless status. She’s Funny That Way receives 3.25/5.