(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

SPOILER: Some plot points may be revealed or hinted at.

CAPSULE: A group of female friends is getting together in Big Sur for the weekend. One of them, Nic, asks her father Walter to drive her best friend Kim to the get-together. Walter and Kim totally fail to hit it off together. Walter is a little taken off guard by Kim's hostility, but he will learn more about the girls this weekend. Directed by: Michael J. Gallagher; written by: Michael J. Gallagher, Steven Greene. Rating: I rate it a +1 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

After the first act of FUNNY STORY there is not so much humor as drama, much of it frustrating. Most of the "funny" in the title is in the first act of the story. To tell the truth, Walter is a little shocked at what he sees of the women who are his daughter's friends, but he is bound and determined to show them that he will not be judgmental or in any way intolerant of the women's lifestyles. Still, the weekend is not going well.

Nevertheless, by the third act the women have decided that Walter is an irredeemable lothario. There is an irritating problem in the script, however. This group of friends are torn apart by a revelation about Walter. But Walter is being used as a scapegoat for someone worse.

Eventually all the women give in to hostility for Walter. They seem to ignore their own share of responsibility for what has happened. Nobody takes Walter's side to defend him. Walter himself for some reason is so accommodating that he does not seem to even defend himself.

To her credit, one of the girls realizes that Walter does not deserve the enmity he is getting. She comes to this conclusion and points it out at the very end of the film. It is maddening that nobody mentions it before the very end. It is the one obvious observation, but the fact that nobody was willing to admit it casts a very bad light on the whole group.

Writer/director Michael J. Gallagher wants to send a message to the viewer that the whole situation is really a comedy. The titles are done white on black in the same typeface that Woody Allen uses. This does have some laughs early but this is definitely not a Woody-Allen-style comedy.

Matthew Glave as Walter does seem to have an affable personality on the screen in a Robert Forster sort of style.

FUNNY STORY has a few minutes of humor, but it takes more than that to make a "funny story." I rate it a +1 on the -4 to +4 scale or 6/10.

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					Mark R. Leeper
					Copyright 2019 Mark R. Leeper