She's Funny That Way (film)

She’s Funny That Way is a 2014 American screwball comedy film[4][5] directed by Peter Bogdanovich and co-written with Louise Stratten. The film stars Owen Wilson, Imogen Poots, Kathryn Hahn, Will Forte, Rhys Ifans, and Jennifer Aniston.

She’s Funny That Way
Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Bogdanovich
Produced by
Written by
  • Louise Stratten
  • Peter Bogdanovich
Music byEdward Shearmur
CinematographyYaron Orbach
Edited by
  • Venture Forth
  • Three Point Capital
  • Holly Wiersma Productions
Distributed byLionsgate Premiere
Release date
  • August 29, 2014 (2014-08-29) (Venice)
  • August 21, 2015 (2015-08-21)
Running time
94 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$10 million[2]
Box office$6 million[3]

The film had a limited release in the United States and was released through video on demand on August 21, 2015, by Lionsgate Premiere.[5][6]


Broadway director Arnold Albertson alias "Derek" (Owen Wilson) hires call girl/escort Izzy Patterson (Imogen Poots), despite being married. Izzy dreams of being an actress, and "Derek" gives her $30,000 in exchange for her promise to stop being a call girl and pursue her true goal. She is not the first escort he has done this for. Lead actor Seth Gilbert (Rhys Ifans) sees Arnold kissing Izzy as she leaves his room.

Arnold's wife Delta Simmons (Kathryn Hahn) is the star of Arnold's new play A Grecian Evening. Izzy, keeping her promise to "Derek", shows up to audition for a part in the play as a call girl, not knowing that Derek/Arnold is the director.

The playwright Joshua Fleet (Will Forte) falls for Izzy, despite the fact that he’s dating Jane Claremont (Jennifer Aniston), who happens to be Izzy's therapist. Meanwhile, Judge Pendergast (Austin Pendleton) is another client of Izzy's, and also a patient of Jane Claremont. He is obsessed with Izzy, and hires private investigator Harold Fleet (George Morfogen), who happens to be Joshua Fleet's father, to follow her.

After the auditions, everyone ends up at the same Italian restaurant. Jane sees Joshua with Izzy and breaks up with him. Izzy sees Arnold and tries to escape out the bathroom window, but Delta catches her and brings her back into the restaurant. Izzy's cover is almost blown when Seth arrives with a co-worker of Izzy's.

While shopping, Delta finds out that Arnold has been hiring escorts when Margie, another call girl Arnold helped, thanks him profusely and indiscreetly. Joshua finds out about Izzy when Judge Pendergast confronts the two of them while they are on a date; she runs off before he can talk to her. Delta turns to Seth, who has long professed his love for her, for comfort, but finds another call girl hiding in his bathroom. She then storms into Arnold's room, only to find Izzy hiding in his bathroom (the two were just talking).

Everyone shows up to the first table read the next day, despite the tension. Delta makes a point of kissing Seth passionately while rehearsing. Izzy's father shows up looking for the men who paid his daughter for sex. Jane shows up to cause a scene, and identifies Arnold, Seth, and Joshua as Izzy's clients. During the commotion, Seth and Jane catch each others' eye.

The play opens to great acclaim. In an interview some time later, Izzy says that it closed in a week because wives from Long Island don't want to go to a play about call girls. Nevertheless, she caught the attention of a man from Hollywood, and has had success as a film actress since. She and Joshua broke up; she's now dating Quentin Tarantino. Seth and Jane are still dating. Judge Pendergast went to prison for solicitation; his wife is now dating Harold Fleet. Arnold now works for a charity giving large sums of money to women's causes.





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 misinterpreting it as a children’s film, Bogdanovich changed it to She’s Funny That Way.[4] (‘Squirrels to the Nuts’ is a line used frequently in the film, lifted from the 1946 film Cluny Brown.) Bogdanovich originally wrote the role of Arnold Albertson for John Ritter, but due to his death, he shelved the project. Bogdanovich later 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.[4] 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-ingenue actress and Wilde would play the role of her therapist. Jason Schwartzman was also rumored to be in negotiations to play Wilde’s playwright 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 initially offered the part of Delta Simmons, Arnold Albertson’s wife, but she favored the role of the therapist, in which she was cast.[4] Despite the commencement of filming on July 11, 2013, Imogen Poots[16] and Richard Lewis[17] were announced for roles of the ingenue and her father on July 22, with Will Forte taking the role of a playwright two days later.[18] The same week, the casting of Joanna Lumley,[7] Debi Mazar,[7] Rhys Ifans,[19] Lucy Punch,[19] Ahna O’Reilly,[19] and Jake Hoffman[19] was set.


Principal photography lasted 29 days,[4] 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 had 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.[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.


The film received mixed reviews from American critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 40%, based on reviews from 89 critics, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The site’s critical consensus states: “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] Metacritic gives the film a score of 45%, based on reviews from 25 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.[30]


Accolade Category Recipient Result Ref
Jupiter Award Best International Actress Jennifer Aniston Nominated


  1. "She's Funny That Way (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. April 10, 2015. Retrieved April 11, 2015.
  3. "She's Funny That Way (2015)". Box Office Mojo.
  4. Hemphill, Jim (August 17, 2015). "Playing All the Parts: Peter Bogdanovich on "She's Funny That Way"". Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  5. Labrecque, Jeff (July 24, 2015). "Peter Bogdanovich talks his new screwball comedy and his plans to finish Orson Welles' lost, last movie". Entertainment Weekly Inc. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  6. Kit, Borys (June 2, 2015). "Owen Wilson-Jennifer Aniston Comedy 'She's Funny That Way' Nabbed by Lionsgate Premiere (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  7. "Tatum O'Neal Reteams With 'Paper Moon' Director Peter Bogdanovich for Showbiz Comedy (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  8. Staff (July 29, 2013). "Carter joins Aniston cast | Page Six". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  9. "She's Funny That Way: Bogdanovich's screwball dud of a comeback". The Times.
  10. Roger Friedman. "Exclusive: Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson Star in Peter Bogdanovich's LOL Comeback Comedy". Showbiz411.
  11. "Interview: 'Afternoon Delight' Star Kathryn Hahn Talks Motherhood, Unhinged Silver Lake Book Clubs & Peter Bogdanovich's 'Squirrel To The Nuts'|The Playlist". Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  12. Jagernauth, Kevin (October 29, 2010). "Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach To Produce New Film By Peter Bogdanovich 'Squirrel To The Nuts'". The Playlist. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  13. Grigg-Spall, Holly (August 20, 2015). "She's Funny That Way: Peter Bogdanovich". Creative Screenwriting. Retrieved August 20, 2015.
  14. Jagernauth, Kevin (May 24, 2012). "Owen Wilson, Olivia Wilde & Brie Larson To Star In Peter Bogdanovich's 'Squirrel To The Nuts' Produced By Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach". The Playlist. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  15. Davis, Edward (February 10, 2013). "Jennifer Aniston, Eugene Levy & Kathryn Hahn Join Peter Bogdanovich's 'She's Funny That Way' With Owen Wilson". The Playlist. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  16. Sneider, Jeff (July 22, 2013). "Imogen Poots Replaces Brie Larson as Star of Wes Anderson-Produced Movie (Exclusive)". TheWrap. The Wrap News Inc. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  17. Ford, Rebecca (July 22, 2013). "Richard Lewis Joins 'Squirrels to the Nuts'". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  18. Kit, Borys (July 24, 2013). "Will Forte Joins Peter Bogdanovich's 'Squirrels to the Nuts' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  19. Kit, Borys (July 25, 2013). "Rhys Ifans, Lucy Punch Board Peter Bogdanovich's 'Squirrels to the Nuts' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  20. "'Squirrels to the Nuts', starring Jennifer Aniston, begins filming in NYC". July 11, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  21. "Edward Shearmur to Score Peter Bogdanovich's 'Squirrels to the Nuts'". Film Music Reporter. July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  22. filmmusicreporter (April 30, 2014). "Stephen Endelman Scoring Peter Bogdanovich's 'Squirrels to the Nuts'". Film Music Reporter. Film Music Reporter. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  23. "La Biennale di Venezia – Page not found".
  24. Ramin Setoodeh (September 14, 2014). "Toronto: Jennifer Aniston's 'She's Funny That Way' Nears $4 Million Deal With Clarius Entertainment (Exclusive)". Variety.
  25. "27th Tokyo International Film Festival – She's Funny That Way".
  26. "New James Franco, Jennifer Aniston Films to Be Showcased at Palm Springs Film Festival". TheWrap.
  27. "Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson Comedy 'She's Funny That Way' Shifts Release Date". TheWrap.
  28. "Owen Wilson Jennifer Aniston Comedy Shes Funny That Way Nabbed By Lionsgate Premiere Exclusive". Archived from the original on September 7, 2015.
  29. "She's Funny That Way (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  30. "She's Funny That Way Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
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