Film Review: Funny Pages

What do you want to be when you grow up? A question asked to generations of children and young people across the world and throughout history. If, like me, you had no idea what career you wanted to pursue, it was a particularly frustrating inquiry. Although, there’s no magic age when you suddenly receive an injection of wisdom. Decades later, it’s still impossible to answer. The lucky few are driven in a certain direction from childhood, regardless of how reckless that may be. As is the case for one young man in Funny Pages.

Robert (Daniel Zolghadri) has had it up to here with high school. It’s pointless anyway as the teenager knows exactly what he’s going to do and grades are irrelevant. He’s going to be a cartoonist. When his teacher and mentor (Stephen Adly Guirgis) dies suddenly, Robert takes matters into his own hands and leaves his cosy suburban life behind.  Much to the chagrin of his parents. However, he soon feels adrift without a guiding hand, until his encounters the idiosyncratic Wallace (Matthew Maher).

Funny Pages is an unusual and distinct comedy drama which takes a fairly familiar subject area and tackles it head-on. This approach is where writer/director Owen Kline’s film flourishes. It’s all in and benefits greatly from the situations this razor-sharp focus creates. Mixing the real with the absurd to create a very funny and often bizarre coming-of-age tale. While it does seem to run out of steam towards the end, Funny People is an engaging, amusing and entertaining walk on the wild side.

Funny Bones is out in UK cinemas and Curzon Home Cinema on 16 September.

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