Films: Not That Funny

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Not That Funny

Not That Funny

USA, 2012, 98 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: American Indie, Comedy, Romance
Program: Women + Film
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Lauralee Farrer
Producer: Terence Berry
Editor: Matt Barber
Screenwriter: Lauralee Farrer, Jonathan Foster
Cinematographer: Brandon Lippard
Principal Cast: Tony Hale, Brigid Brannagh, K Callan, Nick Thune, Timothy V. Murphy, John Kapelos

Don’t believe the title: Not That Funny is pretty funny. In director/screenwriter Lauralee Farrer’s romantic comedy, Prince Charming is a nerd. Although he tells his friends he is “alone but not lonely,” Stefan Lane (Tony Hale of Arrested Development) eats Chinese food out of the box, putters around his widowed landlady Toogey’s house, and lives a pretty solitary small-town life. When Toogey’s beautiful, high-powered granddaughter, Haley, blows into town on the arm of her sleazy Russian boss, she turns Stefan’s serious world on its head. He can’t take his eyes off her.


Dissatisfied with her stressful life and her jerk of a boyfriend, Haley decides to spend time with Toogey at the family homestead and reclaim happy childhood memories. When Stefan overhears her say all she really wants in a man is someone to make her laugh, he decides then and there to become a comedian. There’s just one problem: he’s not that funny. Stefan does some Internet research and finds an off-color stand-up comic named Norm Getz, who seems to have women fawning over him. In one of the film’s funniest scenes, Stefan stalks Getz, knocks on his door, and begs for humor tips. Meanwhile, Haley, who seems more and more content to be back home, watches Stefan carefully and finds him to be the same solid, reliable type as her beloved grandfather.


Hale, also known for his roles in Chuck and Veep, shines as the serious-minded Stefan. His comedic timing and sympathetic portrayal of a serious man in love give the movie just the right amount of funny.


- JOEY PORCELLI


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