She's Funny That Way

Out Now On-Demand

Imogen Poots, Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson lead this screwball comedy of errors that trigger when a married man (Wilson) helps out a prostitute (Poots) looking to make it big on Broadway. From filmmaking legend Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show), his first film in more than a decade. Co-stars Rhys Ifans, Will Forte and The Last Picture Show's Cybill Shepherd.

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.

Guardian (UK)

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A derivative, low-octane comedy.

Hollywood Reporter

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Peter Bogdanovich returns to screwball comedy and an intricate web of romantic complications.

Telegraph (UK)

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A hysterical screwball fantasia that openly steals from Lubitsch, Hawks, Capra and Sturges and wants to be caught with its fingers in the till.

Variety (USA)

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After a thirteen-year absence, Peter Bogdanovich returns to theatrical filmmaking with an enthusiastic but low-fizz romantic farce.

Empire (UK)

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Peter Bogdanovich's attempt to update the screwball of the Golden Age lacks the requisite elegance, wit and charm.

Time Out London

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It's fluffy fun, packed with in-jokes for movie lovers.

Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)

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Just feels like forgettable fantasy fluff.

Cute

I feel like some people gave a good performance. I don't think anyone had high expectations which gives this film a relaxed feel.