“Funny Pages”


Metacritic (1/10), Letterboxd (0.5/5), Imdb.com (1/10)

If ever there were a film that would leave you scratching your head in bewilderment, this is it. Writer-director Owen Kline’s debut feature is an utterly pointless, aimlessly wandering piece of cinematic crap that serves no purpose and has no redeeming artistic value (which, technically, could qualify it as porn, though, in this case, without the sex). Billed as a comedy (quite a stretch if there ever were one), this coming of age story about an aspiring prodigal underground cartoonist has little to do with coming of age or cartoons. Instead, it runs through an endless list of episodic incidents involving the protagonist and an unhinged mentor, most of which veer off into a series of unrelated, disjointed tangents characterized by voluminous amounts of yelling, violence, property damage, insults and random interactions with quirky supporting players. It seems like the filmmaker is going for some sort of ultra-edgy humor and allegedly insightful sociological statements here, but the wayward route taken to attempt to achieve those supposed objectives amounts to little more than off-putting, unbridled repulsion. Indeed, how this unmitigated garbage got green-lighted is truly beyond me. What’s even more startling, though, are the accolades it has received, including nominations from the Independent Spirit Awards competition and the Cannes Film Festival, as well as a win from the National Board of Review. This is one of those movies that genuinely leaves me wondering “What were they thinking?” when it comes to those who dreamed up the idea for this mess, those who were willing to bankroll it and those who have gone on to lavish it with wholly undeserved praise. By all means, pass this one up – and give it a wide berth at that.