Boden & Fleck's Half Nelson is a near masterpiece. This film, despite Galifianakis pretty solid dramatic performance, is boring tripe through and through. It never goes deep enough to be truly unsettling or moving. It's always resting on its own indie cliche inspired brand of twee.
It's kind of a shitty story. Sorry, couldn't help it. But really, it was lazy and unimaginative; lacks passion, and at times, downright annoying. A more competent director could've handled this kind of story a lot better. Also, I can't stand fucking Nancy Drew!
The quirk is almost self-conscious but it's a harmless, gentle story of teenage self discovery. Goes for a few emotional moments it doesn't quite earn, and is a bit uneven, but its characters are likable, if one dimensional.
It's kind of slow and definitely a sugar coated version of what it's like to suffer from mental illness, I've had 2 cases in my family and I've seen it up close. But the characters and acting are good and the ending is absolutely lovely. All in all, it's sincere enough to be a likeable movie.