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A movie directed by Josh Radnor

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Review: ‘Happythankyourmoreplease'

  • Mar 19, 2011
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By Paul Hansen

The pursuit of happiness is a serious undertaking. It is mentioned rather prominently, after all, in this country’s founding document.  In a more modest way, the film  Happythankyourmoreplease follows a group of  young New Yorkers as they attempt  to find happiness in the Big Apple.

The movie is written and directed by Josh Radnor who also plays Sam,  a writer and something of a Don Juan who has difficulty making emotional committments.  While on the subway  he comes across a young boy, Rasheen, separated from his foster family.   The boy is unhappy in his foster placement and refuses to go to the police station.    Sam becomes his unofficial guardian.  The quirky relationship between the two seems to have a maturing effect on Sam as he gradually makes a more serious attitude towards his erstwhile girlfriend played by Kate Mara.

Happy also portrays several of Sam’s friends as they attempt to resolve their relationship issues and professional concerns.  Malin Akerman is Annie, an Alopecia sufferer which causes hair loss. Feeling that she is unattractive, Annie seems trapped in unhappiness and puts up barriers to romantic relationships.  Tony Hale plays an at  first goofy but ultimately sensitive suitor who helps Annie make herself more emotionally available.

A third couple (Zoe Kazan and Pablo Schreiber) are preoccupied by the overworked if genuine theme of whether it is better to pursue professional opportunities in Los Angeles or stay in New York.  The pull of New York can be very great and the film is unabashedly pro-Big Apple in a Woody Allen sort of way.  This aspect of  the film may have been its weak link.  Happy adds nothing new to the debate of the preferability of the two cities and I found the treatment of the New York vs. LA theme rather trite.

The movie has something of the atmosphere of an episode of  Friends with the interlocking relationships.  Happy moves at a calm, almost European pace and is content to linger over the development of the attachments.

The central point of the film emerges in a dialogue between Akerman and Hale.  In something of a Buddhist epiphany, Akerman realizes that it is important to concentrate on the happiness around you rather than focus on the misery.  She opens herself up to the possibility joy by repeating the mantra “happythankyoumoreplease.”  In these troubled  times it is a useful message that happiness can be achieved through subtle adjustments of perspective.

Happythankyoumoreplease is refreshing (and by today’s standards unusual) because relationships are portrayed in a realisic manner with hopeful, believable outcomes.   Although special effects fantasies have their place, Happy demonstrates that reality is often galvanizing enough.

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April 28, 2011
Your take on the movie sounds fascinating even if the movie itself is not! I'd think I like this kind of film but may possibly be good to just watch it on TV rather than to pay for it. Good point about focusing on happiness rather than misery. The mind is a mysterious organ and we have too little understanding about how it works!
More Happythankyoumoreplease reviews
review by . March 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Happythankyoumoreplease is one of those contrived, unpleasant, stupid relationship films in which the intertwining narratives manipulate the audience into submission. They focus on issues that exist primarily in the movies, provide the characters with dialogue no actual person is likely to say, and establish scenarios that are nothing close to plausible. It was clearly intended to be inspiring, romantic, heartwarming, and perhaps even informative; …
review by . March 31, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Josh Radnor makes his directorial debut inHappythankyoumoreplease which he also wrote and starred in. Radnor takes some of the lessons he learned on his hit TV showHow I Met Your Mother and applied it to his movie. The outcome is a pleasant story amongst like minded people moving towards adulthood.      While this is a cute story, there is a lot wrong with this movie. First off that title, oh god that awful, awful title. And you know that title is gonna come with an …
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Phil Wallace ()
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Member Since: Mar 9, 2011
Last Login: Oct 17, 2011 04:51 PM UTC
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