Part bedroom farce, part Woody Allen wannabe, She’s Funny That Way is a funny little film that is loud and proud about being more fun than substance. Kicking off in a somewhat quirky Hollywood insider interview fashion, it is the tale of Isabella (Imogen Poots), now a big name actress who recounts the circumstances that enabled her to transition from Brooklyn nobody to rising star almost overnight. Those circumstances are insane, implausible and inventively amusing.
Writer-Director Peter Bogdanovich, whose last big directorial success was Cher’s Mask more than three decades ago, manages to assemble an impressive ensemble cast, presumably on the basis that every part provides multiple scene-stealing opportunities.
As such the likes of Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Rhys Ifans and Kathryn Hahn all eat their way through multiple sets of scenery in this bizarre tale of a playwright with a penchant for saving working girls, the British actor obsessed with his actress wife and… well Jennifer Aniston is just the most bizarre therapist that New York has ever seen.
Ultimately She’s Funny That Way is a lot of fun, but demonstrates how refined and ingenious the works of the likes of Noel Coward and Alan Ayckbourn were in presenting such insane goings on in seemingly plausible fashion. Bogdanovich almost achieves the balance, but veers too often into absurdism without any hint of even a tissue-thin explanation.
Which is not to say it fails. She’s Funny That Way harks back to an older less-cynical storytelling style, yet the sheer enthusiasm of the cast almost flows off the screen, sweeping the audience with it. You’ll laugh. You’ll roll your eyes. You’ll have a great time. Only afterwards you won’t be able to help picking it to pieces.
Film can be funny that way.
‘She’s Funny That Way’ Movie Times