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She’s Funny That Way

Film & TV

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Two things you should consider: in real life, stranger things happen than in fiction; and if you could cast your friends in films, you probably would.

In the early ’70s, director Peter Bogdanovich had three years of successive hits with The Last Picture Show, What’s Up Doc? and Paper Moon. Through the intervening years he’s had some runs on the board but no standout. Now, his latest film travels the madcap route, without detour, managing constant laughs along the ride.

And he is up-to-date on modern social mores, albeit those set particularly in New York; every scene involving mobile phones is hilarious.

Before beginning rehearsals to his Broadway show, director Arnold (Owen Wilson) sneaks in one night with Glow (Imogen Poots). She leaves the hotel room in the morning 30K richer, care of the man who says he likes the stories such ladies tell.

Such an injection of funds is enough to kickstart her acting career, so it’s out with Vicky’s escort agency and in with an audition. Of course, the role is as a hooker and the director is Arnold, who’s not at all keen to have her aboard.

Complicating connections further is the flirting of the two leads – Arnold’s wife, Delta (Kathryn Hahn), who is facing a pivotal return to stage, and actor Seth (Rhys Ifans), who is so famous he has an aftershave range named after him.

There’s more, including a judge obsessed with Glow, and a smitten playwright avoiding his girlfriend Jane (Jennifer Aniston), a therapist who is pretty darned aggrieved most of the time. Aniston is a pleasure to watch, with her character’s temper fuelling much of the action.

The whole story is told in perhaps unreliable flashbacks, with Glow (now famed actress Isabella) being interviewed by a journalist. Poots does a great Brooklyn accent, and there is also fun to be had spotting Bogdanovich’s past stars, even ex-wives.

You have to wonder how much art imitates life here. She’s Funny That Way is whacky, quirky and funny enough for a girls’ night out.

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