Happily (2021)

June 18th, Movie 19

I was not sure what I was getting into with Happily, and now that I have finished the film for the June Swoon, I am not sure what I watched. I liked it a lot, though.

Happily was seemingly one type of movie and then a few unexpected themes injected themselves into the story which changed what it felt like what the story actually was. The ending was bizarre and left me unsure about what had been happening.

Tom (Joel McHale) and Janet (Kerry Bishé) were the perfect couple, despite coming up on fifteen years together. All of their friends hated them because they were always having sex and could not be more perfect. They hated them so much that they uninvited them to a weekend retreat they had been planning.

However, when a strange man named Goodman (Stephen Root) came to see Tom and Janet, insinuating that they were being forced to take an injection of some mysterious substance that would make them more like a normal married couple and they could not avoid it, things changed. There was suddenly a strange, almost sci-fi, feel that swept over the film. When Janet killed Goodman in a fit of self defense, Tom and Janet disposed of the body.

After suddenly being re-invited to the weekend getaway, Tom and Janet decided that this was, perhaps, a prank perpetrated by one of their friends. They decided to go to the retreat and try and figure out who was behind it. When, on an alcohol run, Janet saw an decidedly not-dead Goodman stalking her, the whole weekend took a definitive change.

I was engage in what was happening in Happily even though I was not sure what it was that was happening. The ending really switched up the movie’s tone and mood as we realized that what had been happening was not what we thought. While the ending left me scratching my head about several specific details, and the film never truly gave us answers, I have never been one who required that everything be explained to us. I can understand that there may be some people who felt that the end of the movie was not satisfying because of that. I appreciated the film giving the viewers something potentially open ended to think about.

The cast was strong. Along with Kerry Bishé, Joel McHale and the always great Stephen Root, there was Al Madrigal, Natalie Zea, Paul Scheer, Jon Daly, Breckin Meyer, Shannon Woodward, Charlyne Yi, Natalie Morales, and Kirby Howell-Baptiste.

I appreciated this movie because I was unsure the style of a film I was watching and I enjoyed seeing how it was going to play out. It was an original idea and nicely acted and designed.

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