I Used to Be Funny

I Used to Be Funny 2024 Release Date, Cast, Trailer And More

“I Used to Be Funny” is a 2024 dark dramedy that follows the story of Sam Cowell, an aspiring stand-up comedian and au pair struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Directed by Ally Pankiw and starring Rachel Sennott, known for her roles in “Bodies Bodies Bodies” and “Shiva Baby,” this film delves into the complexities of trauma, mental health, and the pursuit of one’s dreams.

The Plot

Sam, a once-promising stand-up comedian, finds herself grappling with the aftermath of a traumatic event that has left her haunted and unable to perform. As she navigates her daily life as an au pair in Toronto, Sam’s depression and PTSD have a profound impact on her career and relationships.

When a teenage girl Sam used to nanny goes missing, she is faced with a difficult decision: whether or not to join the search. This journey forces Sam to confront her past and the events that have shaped her present, ultimately leading her on a path towards healing and self-discovery.

Release Date

I Used to Be Funny is scheduled to be released in select US theaters on June 7, 2024, and on VOD on June 18, 2024. The movie is a dark dramedy about a stand-up comedian and au pair named Sam Cowell (Rachel Sennott) who struggles with PTSD and must decide whether to help find a missing teenage girl she used to nanny. 

The Cast

Rachel Sennott delivers a powerful and nuanced performance as Sam, capturing the character’s vulnerability, wit, and resilience. The supporting cast, including Olga Petsa as Brooke, Sam’s friend, and Sabrina Jalees as Sam’s roommate, provide depth and authenticity to the story.

Themes and Reception

“I Used to Be Funny” tackles important themes such as mental health, trauma, and the pursuit of one’s passions in the face of adversity. The film has been praised for its honest and empathetic portrayal of PTSD and its impact on an individual’s life.

Critics have commended the film’s ability to balance humor and darkness, creating a unique and engaging viewing experience. Sennott’s performance has been hailed as a standout, with many noting her ability to convey the complex emotions and experiences of her character.

The Importance of Representation in “I Used to Be Funny”

One of the most significant aspects of “I Used to Be Funny” is its representation of mental health issues and the experiences of those who struggle with them. By centering the story around a character dealing with PTSD, the film gives voice to a often-marginalized group and sheds light on the challenges they face.

Moreover, the film’s portrayal of a female comedian grappling with trauma and pursuing her dreams in a male-dominated industry is a powerful statement on the importance of diversity and inclusion in the entertainment world. Sam’s journey serves as an inspiration to those who may feel discouraged or overlooked due to their personal struggles or identity.

The Role of Comedy in Healing

“I Used to Be Funny” also explores the role that comedy can play in the healing process. For Sam, stand-up comedy was once a source of joy and purpose, but her trauma has made it difficult for her to continue pursuing her passion.

Throughout the film, viewers witness Sam’s attempts to reclaim her love for comedy and use it as a tool for self-expression and healing. This storyline highlights the therapeutic potential of the arts and the importance of finding healthy outlets for processing emotions and experiences.


The Impact of “I Used to Be Funny”

As “I Used to Be Funny” continues to reach wider audiences, its impact on the public discourse surrounding mental health and trauma cannot be overstated. By presenting a raw and honest portrayal of these issues, the film encourages viewers to engage in open and empathetic discussions about the challenges faced by those who struggle with mental health conditions.

Furthermore, the film’s success may inspire more creators to tackle these important topics in their work, leading to a greater understanding and acceptance of mental health issues in society as a whole.

Looking Ahead

As we look to the future of cinema, it is clear that films like “I Used to Be Funny” will play an increasingly important role in shaping public opinion and promoting positive change. By giving a platform to underrepresented voices and stories, these films have the power to foster empathy, understanding, and support for those who may feel isolated or misunderstood.

It is our hope that “I Used to Be Funny” will serve as a catalyst for greater awareness and compassion surrounding mental health issues, and that its success will pave the way for more films that tackle these important topics with honesty, sensitivity, and courage.


“I Used to Be Funny” is a poignant and thought-provoking film that sheds light on the often-overlooked struggles of those dealing with trauma and mental health issues. Through its honest and nuanced storytelling, the movie encourages viewers to empathize with its characters and reflect on the challenges that many face in their daily lives.

As the film continues to garner attention and acclaim, it serves as a reminder of the importance of discussing mental health openly and without stigma. “I Used to Be Funny” is a must-watch for anyone seeking a meaningful and impactful cinematic experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is “I Used to Be Funny” based on a true story?

While the film is not directly based on a specific true story, it draws inspiration from the real-life experiences of many individuals who struggle with mental health issues and trauma. Director Ally Pankiw and writer Jillian Locke have created a fictional narrative that authentically portrays the challenges faced by those dealing with PTSD and depression.

What is the significance of the film’s title, “I Used to Be Funny”?

The title “I Used to Be Funny” refers to the main character Sam’s past as a promising stand-up comedian before she experienced a traumatic event. It highlights the impact that trauma can have on an individual’s life, affecting their ability to pursue their passions and find joy in the things they once loved.

Does the film offer a realistic portrayal of PTSD and mental health issues?

Yes, “I Used to Be Funny” has been praised by both critics and mental health advocates for its honest and nuanced portrayal of PTSD and depression. The film does not shy away from depicting the difficult and often messy reality of living with these conditions, while also offering hope and highlighting the importance of support and understanding.

Is “I Used to Be Funny” suitable for all audiences?

Due to its mature themes and frank depiction of mental health issues, “I Used to Be Funny” may not be suitable for all audiences. The film contains some strong language and deals with sensitive topics that could be triggering for some viewers. It is recommended that viewers exercise discretion and consult the film’s content warnings before watching.

Has “I Used to Be Funny” received any awards or nominations?

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, “I Used to Be Funny” has not been released, and therefore, has not been eligible for any awards or nominations. However, given the film’s strong early reviews and the powerful performances of its cast, it is likely that the movie will receive recognition during the upcoming awards season.

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