Director: BenDavid Grabinski
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Thriller
Runtime: 96 Minutes
Main Cast: Kerry Bishé, Joel McHale, Al Madrigal, Natalie Zea, Paul Scheer, Stephen Root, Natalie Morales, Jon Daly, Charlyne Yi
Plot: Janet (Kerry Bishé) and Tom (Joel McHale) have been married for 14 years now and they’re still firmly in the honeymoon phase. They rarely argue, and when they do they make up immediately. When out with friends they can’t keep their hands off each other and their friends have now had enough. They’ve uninvited Janet and Tom from an upcoming weekend away but that’s the least of their troubles when a strange man turns up on their doorstep.
My Thoughts: I usually sit on a movie for a couple of days before I try and write my thoughts down but sometimes a movie comes along that evokes such a strong emotion from me that it’s a bit of a now or never situation. I didn’t know what to expect from Happily, it sounded quite fun and I recognised a few of the actors so it seemed like the perfect way to wind down after a fraught weekend. It quickly turned into something really funny and interesting and within the same strange vibe that Game Night (2018) has. Basically, Janet and Tom are told that they both have a defect which is why their relationship is so perfect – and after a shocking murder the movie turns into a mystery to solve.
That’s the best part of this movie, the big question. Is this defect real – or is it a cruel prank gone wrong? Janet and Tom are re-invited to the weekend away but they have to question why? Each of the other couples seems to have their own issues and possible motive and it’s wrapped up in this deliciously dark humour. It was all going so well until the movie rolled into its conclusion. I don’t mind an unexplained ending, I can even forgive an ending that leaves more questions than it answers, but the ending to Happily felt really anti-climatic.
Of course I won’t explain why because that would enter spoiler territory, but also because it’s an ending best watched knowing as little as possible. Some people will love it, I read a few other reviews on Letterboxd and that’s clear, but it felt like a huge letdown to me. I was waiting for one final twist that would lift up the shock factor but it never happened. In the end, it’s going to be a memorable movie for me and I would always prefer that to it being completely forgettable.
Best Bit: Let’s get the obvious out of the way first – who gave Joel McHale permission to have a body that fit?! Moving on! I just loved the humour in this. There’s a joke leading up to a suspenseful moment where you think you’re about to see a dead body in the back of a car but it turns out to be about 10 boxes of pizza instead and I really fell for it.
Worst Bit: I won’t say why but during the reveal at the end I just felt so damn sorry for Charlyne Yi’s character Gretel. The confession came out of nowhere and it didn’t fit in with the tone of what else was happening at all. Even when she got her moment to shine afterwards it still felt off.
Fun Trivia: Happily was scheduled to have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 18, 2020. However, the festival was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
My Rating: 3 omelettes that Joel McHale definitely should have made himself!