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She's Funny That Way

She's Funny That Way
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Peter Bogdanovich
Produced by
Written by
Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography Yaron Orbach
Edited by
Distributed by Lionsgate Premiere
Release dates
  • August 29, 2014 (2014-08-29) (Venice)
  • August 21, 2015 (2015-08-21)
Running time
93 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Box office $3.1 million[2]

She's Funny That Way is a 2014 American screwball comedy film[3][4] directed by Peter Bogdanovich and co-written with Louise Stratten. The film stars Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, Kathryn Hahn, Will Forte and Jennifer Aniston.

The film was released in a limited release in the United States and through video on demand on August 21, 2015 by Lionsgate Premiere.[5][4]


  • Plot 1
  • Cast 2
  • Production 3
    • Development 3.1
    • Casting 3.2
    • Filming 3.3
    • Music 3.4
  • Release 4
    • Critical reception 4.1
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The film centers on a call girl/escort-turned-Broadway-thespian Isabella/Izzy/Glowstick (Imogen Poots) and follows the “recurring intersection between these two facets of her life”. Broadway director Arnold Albertson alias "Derek" (Owen Wilson) pays for her escort services (and did for others), despite being married to Delta Simmons (Kathryn Hahn), the star of his new play A Grecian Evening. The playwright Josh (Will Forte) falls for her as well, despite the fact that he’s already dating her therapist Jane Claremont (Jennifer Aniston), whose alcoholic psychotherapist mother (Joanna Lumley), is in rehab in Tuscany for six months, leaving all her patients to her daughter.[6] Actor Seth Gilbert (Rhys Ifans), the counterpart to Delta Simmons in the play, has been in love with her for years. The intertwined relations of all roles lead to misunderstandings, hiding in the bathroom, and various surprises.





She's Funny That Way originated from a script written by director Peter Bogdanovich and ex-wife Louise Stratten around 1999 and 2000. Bogdanovich and Stratten, who were in financial distress at the time trying to buy back They All Laughed (1981), decided to write a comedy to uplift their spirits. While writing the script, Bogdanovich was inspired by an incident in Singapore during the time he was filming Saint Jack in 1978, where he was able to talk to many prostitutes after hiring them for his film. He would give them more money than their salary for them to leave the prostitution business. The script was originally titled Squirrels to the Nuts, but due to many people misunderstanding it was a children's film, Bogdanovich changed it to She's Funny That Way.[3] For the role of Arnold Albertson, Bogdanovich originally wrote it for John Ritter, but due to his death, Bogdanovich shelved the project. Eventually, Bogdanovich became friends with Owen Wilson, introduced to him by Wes Anderson, and he decided to change aspects of the character of Albertson: all of the physical gags intended for Ritter were changed to verbal jokes to suit Wilson.[3] In 2010, protégés of Bogdanovich – Anderson and Noah Baumbach – offered their backing to get the film made, agreeing to serve as executive producers.[12]


When the script was originally written, Bogdanovich envisioned John Ritter, Cybill Shepherd and co-writer Louise Stratten in the lead roles.[13] In 2012, when the film was officially announced, Wilson, Brie Larson, and Olivia Wilde were signed on in lead roles. Larson was to play the Call Girl turned actress and Wilde would play the role of her therapist. Jason Schwartzman was also rumored to be in negotiations to play Wilde's playwrighter boyfriend. Due to production delays, Wilson is the only actor to remain with the project.[14] In February 2013, it was announced that Jennifer Aniston would replace Wilde in the role of the therapist, the same time Kathryn Hahn, Cybill Shepherd, and Eugene Levy were announced as cast members.[15] Aniston was first offered by Bogdanovich to play Delta Simmons, Arnold Albertson's wife, but she wanted to have the role of the therapist, which she subsequently played.[3] Despite the commencement of filming on July 11, 2013, Richard Lewis[16] and Imogen Poots[17] were announced as taking roles of the father of Albertson and the prostitute respectively on July 22, with Will Forte taking the role of a playwright two days later.[18] The same week, Joanna Lumley,[7] Debie Mazar,[7] Rhys Ifans,[19] Lucy Punch,[19] Ahna O'Reilly,[19] and Jake Hoffman[19] were announced as being cast in the film.


Principal photography lasted 29 days,[3] commencing on July 11, 2013 in New York City.[20]


On July 15, 2014, Edward Shearmur was hired to score the music for the film, replacing Stephen Endelman, who has already recorded music for the film by the time of the announcement.[21][22]


On August 29, 2014, She's Funny That Way premiered at the Venice Film Festival.[23] On September 12, it was bought by Clarius Entertainment at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.[24] A screening at the Tokyo International Film Festival was scheduled for the end of October.[25] In January 2015, the film was screened to the Palm Springs International Film Festival.[26]

The film was originally scheduled for a May 1, 2015 release in theaters nationwide, but Clarius Entertainment pulled the film from the schedule. Later, the film was set for August 21, 2015;[27] however, on June 2, 2015, Lionsgate Premiere acquired the film after Clarius Entertainment dropped the film for unknown reasons.[28] The film was released on August 21, 2015 in a limited release and through video on demand.

Critical reception

The film has received mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 38%, based on reviews from 81 critics, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "She's Funny That Way is an affectionate, talent-filled throwback to screwball comedies of old—which makes it even more frustrating that the laughs are disappointingly few and far between."[29] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 45 out of 100, based on reviews from 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[30]


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External links

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