The great Peter Bogdanovich’s love of the old studio comedies has long passed into Hollywood lore. Nobody has a love of the screwball comedy quite like Bogdanovich. From What’s Up Doc? to They All Laughed shows that the writer/director has always tried to inject a certain amount of old-fashioned Hollywood style into his features. He once again turns his hand to the long forgotten genre with 2015’s She’s Funny That Way, a relationship comedy starring Owen Wilson as a philandering theatre director caught-up in the production of a new play.
She’s Funny That Way hits all the the right notes – if you love that sort of thing. However, it’s a shame that most audiences today won’t understand the vibe that Bogdanovich is striving for. It’s a far-fetched reality, a world set within the confines of the golden times of Hollywood. This isn’t real-life, it’s a Sunday afternoon lost in a black and white romance. Yes, it might be fluffy, but it also sparkles like champagne at a Gatsby-esque party.
Bogdanovich’s film might be old fashioned but he has stacked his film with a wide selection of well-known stars. Owen Wilson top-lines and he’s supported by Jennifer Aniston, Rhys Ifans, Will Fore, Illena Douglas and Imogen Poots as the call girl who steals Wilson’s play and heart. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though, as a host of well known stars put in an appearance. You can see how many people admire Bogdanovich by the roll call alone (the film is produced by Indie gods Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach) and it’s wonderful to see a master getting another shot at delivering the goods.
She’s Funny That Way is a funny, well acted comedy. It won’t engage the low brow cinematic neanderthals, but Peter Bogdanovich’s film is a true cinematic treat for those who appreciate great movies.