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Ending of Funny Pages Explained

The ending of Funny Pages leaves many questions unanswered, creating a sense of emptiness and futility. This aligns with the film’s overall tone and themes.

Funny Pages, directed by Owen Kline, is a unique coming-of-age black comedy. The film follows Robert, a teenage cartoonist, as he navigates life after the death of his mentor. The ending has sparked much discussion among viewers and critics.

Plot Summary

Funny Pages tells the story of Robert, a 17-year-old cartoonist. After his high school art teacher and mentor, Mr. Katano, dies, Robert leaves his suburban home. He moves to a rundown basement apartment in Trenton, New Jersey. Here, he meets Wallace, a former cartoonist with a troubled past.

Robert’s journey is filled with absurd and dangerous situations. His interactions with Wallace are significant. Wallace’s life contrasts sharply with Robert’s sheltered existence. Their relationship is tense and filled with dark humor.

The Ending

The ending of Funny Pages is amhugeuous. Robert’s quest for artistic validation reaches a critical point. However, the film does not provide a clear resolution. Instead, it leaves many questions unanswered. This creates a sense of emptiness and futility.

Critical Perspectives

Several critics have shared their views on the film’s ending:

  1. Sheila O’Malley of O’Malley notes that the ending feels unfinished. She compares it to the haunting final shot of Five Easy Pieces. O’Malley suggests that Funny Pages explores this kind of emptiness but does not fully succeed (

  2. TheWrap: TheWrap describes the ending as rushed and disjointed. Despite this, the review praises the film’s distinctive voice and dark humor. The unresolved conclusion is seen as part of its charm (TheWrap).

  3. Collider: Collider acknowledges that the ending does not neatly tie everything together. However, the review argues that the film’s unique tone and grotesque flair carry the experience (Collider).

  4. The New York Times: Manohla Dargis praises the film for its tonally flawless execution. Dargis notes that the film’s gritty texture and lack of a conventional resolution contribute to its impact (The New York Times).

Themes and Symbolism

The ending of Funny Pages can be interpreted through several themes:

  1. Artistic Integrity vs. Commercial Success: Robert struggles with creating art for its own sake versus achieving commercial success. The unresolved ending reflects this ongoing struggle.

  2. Mentorship and Independence: Robert’s relationship with Wallace is central to the film. The ending leaves their dynamic unresolved, highlighting the complicatedities of mentorship.

  3. Emptiness and Futility: The film’s conclusion evokes a sense of emptiness and futility. This mirrors the subversion of traditional coming-of-age narratives.

Audience Reception

Audience reception of Funny Pages has been mixed. Some viewers appreciate the film’s dark humor and unique approach. Others find the ending unsatisfying. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an 83% approval rating based on 102 reviews (Rotten Tomatoes).

On Metacritic, the film has a score of 73 out of 100, based on 32 critics (Wikipedia).


The ending of Funny Pages is bold and unconventional. It aligns with the film’s overall tone and themes. While it may leave some viewers unsatisfied, it captures the complicatedities of Robert’s journey. The film’s refusal to provide a neat resolution challenges traditional narrative expectations. It invites audiences to reflect on deeper themes of artistic integrity, mentorship, and the harsh realities of life.

In conclusion, Funny Pages is a distinctive and thought-provoking film. Its ending, while amhugeuous, is a fitting conclusion to a story about the journey as much as the destination.


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