Peter Bogdanovich is a very singular kind of film director. There’s a thread of nostalgia running through all his work, but not in the sense of pastiche. The American director clearly has a love of classic cinema and his filmography feels like a homage to The Golden Age. In She’s Funny That Way, his first full narrative feature in eleven years, Bogdanovich makes a gloriously screwball comedy which harks back to the films of Preston Sturges and Howard Hawks.
Izzy (Imogen Poots) is a Brooklyn escort whose life is changed when one of her clients turns out to be Broadway director Arnold Albertson (Owen Wilson). He gives her $30,000 if she promises to change her line of work. Arnold is in town casting for his new play and when Izzy turns up to audition it throws the cat amongst the pigeons. His star actor Seth Gilbert (Rhys Ifans) is chasing after his leading lady, and wife, Delta Simmons (Kathryn Hahn). Playwright Josh (Will Forte) takes a fancy to Lizzy, which his psychiatrist girlfriend (Jennifer Aniston) is less than happy about.
She’s Funny That Way is pure unbridled fun. Bogdanovich has amassed a stellar cast and they all seem to revel in their roles. Poots is impressive as the lead and although her Brooklyn accent is fairly comical, it kind of fits, in a nostalgic way. Aniston and Hahn are also forces of nature as the snappy dialogue flies around between the cast. She’s Funny That Way is a breath of fresh air and it’s great to see movies like this are still being made in an increasingly cynical Hollywood.
She’s Funny Like That is released on DVD and Blu-ray by Lionsgate on Monday.