It’s Kind of a Funny Story, film based on Hunter Graduate Vizzini’s Book, Opens to Critical Praise

October 18, 2010 | Hunter College

It’s Kind of a Funny Story, the new movie based on the novel of the same name by Hunter graduate Ned Vizzini (BA ‘03), is “disarmingly gentle, sweet and whimsical,” in the view of New York Times film critic A.O. Scott, who adds that he unhesitatingly recommends the movie to “the legions of children and parents who are fans (or who should be) of Mr. Vizzini’s book.”

Among the other media praising the film was USA Today, which called it a work of “poignancy and humor” and a “humanistic comedy that walks a tightrope of emotions and moods and manages to stay balanced.”

Referring to Vizzini’s book–which was published in 2006, when the author was 25–A.O. Scott points to its “unmistakably authentic energy” and the “zest and irreverence with which [Vizzini] approaches difficult themes.” In the film, as in the book, the teenage central character has checked into a psychiatric hospital.

When the book first came out, The Times critic called it an “insightful and utterly authentic novel” about “the insidious kind of pressure teenagers face in a success-oriented society,” while Publishers Weekly lauded the book for being “highly readable and ultimately upbeat” and the author for his “knack for conveying the textures of teenage life.”

Vizzini, who has a BA (summa cum laude) in computer science with a minor in English, published his first book, Teen Angst? Naaah…, in 2000 (when he was 19 years old) and his second, Be More Chill, in 2005.