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Happily - Movie Review

Happily

We all know that one perfect couple. You know the one. They always agree with each other, they never fight, never display a bit of trouble, and they’re always obnoxiously happy, no matter what. They’re simply perfect together.

"plays like a mind-bending cross between Modern Romance, Wild at Heart, and a feature-length episode of The Twilight Zone … only weirder."


 

But what if we sensed something in that relationship that was a little too perfect? What if something about them felt just a little off?

That’s the scenario explored in BenDavid Grabinski’s Happily, an adult romantic comedy that plays like a mind-bending cross between Modern Romance, Wild at Heart, and a feature-length episode of The Twilight Zone … only weirder.

The couple in question is Tom (Joel McHale, Ted) and Janet (Kerry Bishé, Argo) who’ve been happily married for 14 years and for whom the honeymoon phase never ended. They constantly complement each other, make one another breakfast, and put people off at parties with their over-the-top grab ass games and flirting. Surely they can’t love each other this much, can they?

Before we get a chance to answer that question, Tom and Janet receive a visit from a mysterious stranger named Goodman (Stephen Root, Office Space) who claims to be from a higher level of authority and who informs the couple that they are indeed abnormal. He informs them that their marital bliss is a bureaucratic foul up and he is there to fix it with a couple of injections and an ample amount of money for their troubles.Happily

Naturally Tom and Janet refuse Goodman’s proposal and the ensuing conservation quickly goes sideways before eventually turning into a tragic mistake that leads to a dead body, a lot of questions, and a very tense couples’ trip with a group of friends.

The success of Happily rests entirely on Grabinsky. And he delivers with a fun and engaging take on the genre that we can all relate to. Yes, McHale and Bishé have an electric chemistry that goes a long way, as does the remainder of the cast, including Jon Daly, Natalie Morales, Al Madrigal, Natalie Zea, Charlene Yi, and others, who all perfectly play into their quirky characters and offbeat places in the ensemble. But it is Grabinsky’s unique, eye-catching visual style and his unrelenting willingness to lean into his demented twist on the story that propels his genre-swapping rom-com to big laughs and even bigger mysteries.

Though he occasionally stumbles along the way and sometimes fails to tie all the loose ends together in a bewildering and somewhat underwhelming finale, Grabinsky’s first two acts – aided by a deliciously sardonic tone – sizzle with an engaging bizarreness. Though you may come out scratching your head, the ride is totally worth it. Can’t wait for what he comes up with for his sophomore effort.

3/5 stars

Film Details

Happily

MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, language throughout and brief violence.
Runtime:
96 mins
Director
: BenDavid Grabinski
Writer:
BenDavid Grabinski
Cast:
Kerry Bishé, Joel McHale, Al Madrigal
Genre
: Comedy | Crime
Tagline:
A killer romantic comedy.
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
Electric Dynamite
Official Site:
Release Date:
March 19, 2021
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: A dark romantic comedy. Tom and Janet have been happily married for years. But a visit from a mysterious stranger leads to a dead body, a lot of questions, and a tense couples' trip with friends who may not actually be friends at all.

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Happily

 

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