I Used To Be Funny is not always the easiest watch. It tackles themes of sexual violence, but in doing so it tells an insightful and interesting story that’s well worth a watch.

I Used To Be Funny Brings The Laughter And The Tears

I Used To Be Funny

The film is written and directed by Ally Pankiw, who is best known for directing the first season of Netflix’s Feel Good. The film stars Rachel Sennott who has made an impression with Bottoms, Shiva Baby, and Bodies, Bodies, Bodies. Sennot plays Sam, a young stand-up comedian struggling with PTSD. Sam herself grapples with a complicated relationship with Brooke, a missing girl she used to nanny.

The film is awfully funny at times; particularly as Sam is a comedian and naturally tells jokes both on and off the stage. Sennot sells this duality along with the PTSD that haunts her. Sam is a complicated character who you’re both laughing alongside in one moment and crying alongside the next.

Some of the other characters are not as complex. They still serve a purpose within the plot and overall help the story move along.

Overstays Its Welcome

While the film does tell a great story, it did feel like more often than not the movie used scenes to sell us on a particular character’s background or motivation a bit too often. Certain characters only need so much time to craft their stories and this is particularly the case here.

I Used To Be Funny

In particular, Sennot’s character Sam gets a lot of scenes selling the audience on her PTSD. Most observant viewers will already be well aware that Sam has PTSD. Sabrina Jalees and Caleb Hearon play Sam’s roommates and there are far too many scenes of them offering Sam support or vaguely alluding to the incident that is the ignition for the plot. It just overstays its welcome, becomes frustrating, and doesn’t feel as effective as it could be.

Still, it’s important to share tales of sexual violence and tell meaningful stories that tackle these harder issues. The plot could’ve gotten to these impactful moments a bit more effectively but nonetheless, it’s still worth exploring them.

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