She's Funny That Way DVD Review

DVD Review by Clayton Barnett

The Premise
From renowned director Peter Bogdanovich, SHE'S FUNNY THAT WAY is a screwball comedy featuring the interconnected personal lives of the cast and crew of a Broadway production. When established director Arnold Albertson (Owen Wilson) casts his call girl-turned-actress Isabella "Izzy" Patterson (Imogen Poots) in a new play to star alongside his wife Delta (Kathryn Hahn) and her ex-lover Seth Gilbert (Rhys Ifans), a zany love tangle forms with hilarious twists. Jennifer Aniston plays Izzy's therapist Jane, who is consumed with her own failing relationship with Arnold's playwright Joshua Fleet (Will Forte), who is also developing a crush on Izzy.
The Review
After 14 years since his last feature (The Cat’s Meow), veteran director Peter Bogdonavich is back paying tribute to Hollywood old school - the screwball comedy.
Back in the early 70’s - at the height of his career - Bogdonavich made two perfect examples of it with classics What’s Up, Doc? and Paper Moon. While the genre may seem dated for some in 2015, She’s Funny That Way is old-fashioned fun cinematic escapism. You’ve got to check your disbelief at the door, in these types of movies there are a lot of coincidences that you just have to run with and laugh at.
And there are a lot of laughs, mainly at the expense of straight man Owen Wilson. In the wilderness for awhile, or just stuck in frat movies with Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson made a comeback with Woody Allen’s equally charming Midnight in Paris and is in a similar vein here. His attempts to juggle work, his wife and his mistress are hilarious and you won’t soon forget his inspiring ‘nuts to the squirrels’ spiel anytime soon.
Bogdonavich has gathered an eclectic cast and entertaining cast around Wilson. Rhys Ifans is a hilarious lothario (he hasn’t been this funny since Notting Hill), fellow Brit Imogen Poots is solid as the muse (and does a solid accent), Will Forte (who guest starred in Flight of the Conchords) is good value as the playwright but Jennifer Aniston comes across a little one-note as the neurotic therapist. Bogdonavich even finds a role for his own muse from 71’s The Last Picture Show, Cybill Shepard, as Poots’ mum.

The Verdict
While it may be all a bit cheesy and coincidental for modern moviegoers, if you just suspend disbelief you’ll find She’s Funny That Way has a lot of old-school charm and plenty of laughs. Take your mum, both of you won’t be disappointed.  

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 16th December 2015
Rating: M
Duration: 93 minutes
Genre:  Comedy
Starring: Imogen Poots, Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston, Kathryn Hahn, Rhys Ifans, Will Forte, Cybill Shepherd
Director: Peter Bogdanovich (The Cat’s Meow)
The Extras
People Magazine reported this film going into pre-production in the mid-1990s, with the title "Soup to Nuts" and featuring Tatum O'Neal in the leading role. Peter Bogdanovich was quoted as saying "This movie is my gift to her."
The film was originally rated R by the MPAA for "some language" but the rating was surrendered and the film was released unrated.
Jennifer Aniston and Illeana Douglas previously worked together in the film Picture Perfect.
Jennifer Aniston and Will Forte previously worked together in the film Life of Crime.