She’s Funny That Way
Peter Bogdanovich, one of the pioneers of New Hollywood, hasn’t directed a movie since 2001’s Last Cat Meow. She’s Funny That Way is his third long feature in over 20 years. Although his latest works haven’t been received with positive reviews, we can finally say he’s back on great form at the tender age of 75.
This wonderful comedy, which some may classify as a second-class Woody Allen movie, is a true piece of classic cinema adapted to the modern day.
Izzy (Imogen Poots) is a young, successful actress who tells her incredible story in an interview. Visually, the most modern touch to the whole feature is probably the typical X-factory/any-reality-show-style interview shot.
We are told through the use of flashbacks that she used to be a call girl and that an apparent client (Owen Wilson) turned out to be a benefactor who gave her enough money to pursue her dream job: acting. Funnily enough, she gets auditioned for a role in a play directed by that benefactor, who had not revealed his true identity. This causes a myriad of genuinely smart mix-ups and gags.
Bogdanovich follows two rules set by French farceur Georges Feydeau: the one person who must not come into the room comes into the room; the one thing that must not happen happens. The result is a perfect comedy full of laughs, executed with grace.
The movie is shot in New York – for real, which is increasingly unlikely in today’s film industry – and shows that classic old-fashioned lifestyle we don’t see anymore. The nostalgic feel is rewarding.
A great stage comedy – in its traditional form – needs great actors. Owen Wilson, Rhys Ifans, Imogen Poots, Kathryn Hahn and Jennifer Aniston seamlessly portray the naiveness, insecurity and nervousness of their compelling characters.
Filippo L’Astorina, the Editor
She’s Funny That Way does not have a UK release date yet.
Read our Venice Film Festival 2014 reviews and interviews here.