Review: She’s Funny That Way (2014)

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Reminiscent of the screwball farces that thrived in the 1930s and 40s, She’s Funny That Way – Peter Bogdanovich’s first feature in thirteen years – is a strained but entertaining hoopla. Arnold (Owen Wilson), a theatre director, runs into difficulty when he casts Isabella (Imogen Poots), a hooker-turned-actress, opposite his wife (Kathryn Hahn) and her ex-lover (Rhys Ifans) in his new play. Told in flashback as Isabella recounts her ludicrous story to a reporter, the film is one farcical set up after another (some of which land better than others), all of which spin wildly and unexpectedly in a myriad of different directions, keeping the audience on their toes. The cast are all on top form – including Poots and Jennifer Aniston, who pops up as a crazed therapist – and it’s kept breezy by a swift pace. It’s superficial and tires towards the end, but She’s Funny That Way is mostly harmless, lively romp.

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