This film displayed a sort of comedy of errors using irony as its focal point. Harvey the character remains unseen to the viewer for the entire film, which is what makes the audience feel as if the protagonist is in fact mentally ill. Though I believe that sending him a mental ward was a bit harsh, the humor works because the sister is admitted as opposed to the person with the invisible friend Harvey. A large standing Rabbit is the way Harvey is described, the creature is, in all actuality, a Pooka. The mythological figure is known for being mischievous, whether the being is malevolent or not, and Harvey is a trickster—playing with the minds of the wards staff and the protagonists head.
What really stood out to me first, with regards to the humor in the movie, was when he picks the book Sense and Sensibility off the shelf of his home library—the irony there made me chuckle. The irony continues however when the sister is institutionalized and the head of the ward sees Harvey as well. The following sequence of events spiral into a fabulously well done comedy of errors in which humor is abundant and the movie displays the folly of the institution of mental wards. It serves a purpose just like we’ve been told all semester. Humor has a point—it tells the audience or viewers that mental institutions are unhelpful in the grand scheme of life. A man will go into the ward happy as ever in his insanity and come out just like every other prick, excuse my French, on the planet.
No matter what the sister insinuated or did to the protagonist he always had a smile on his face saying, “Everyone has a choice, they can either be smart, or they can be pleasant, and I rather prefer pleasant myself.”