Happily Quick View; Grade: B
Happily tells a story about a happily married couple Tom (Joel McHale) and Janet (Kerry Bishe). Everyone envy’s Tom and Janet’s relationship due to the fact they don’t fight nor complain, as they forgive each other easily when one makes a mistake, has passionate sex all the time, and best of all: They’re always happy together. Their friends think they’re abnormal, as their relationship makes other couples not want to be around Tom and Janet. Tom and Janet encountered a strange visitor in their own home, who claims Tom and Janet must be normal, as the visitor commands the couple to take a shot in which will help them be like everyone else. Tom and Janet have no desire to take that shot and refuse to be like everyone else, as Janet attacks the visitor as they fear he is dead. Tom and Janet buried the body, as Tom and Janet got invited by their friends to come stay at a glorious AirBnB for the weekend. Tom and Janet grow suspicious that their friends were behind that strange visitors visit, as they fear it was all just a joke, as the guilt of murdering that man grows inside them over the course of time.
Looking at the difference between the critics perception of Happily, compared to the audience perception of Happily, after watching this film I can see why not everyone is on board with this oddball dry comedic film. Though Happily offers great laughs in the beginning for everyone to enjoy, over the course of time the comedic tone changes, as well as the narrative becomes extremely weird to understand for a common viewer. Having said all that: I enjoyed Happily and thought this was a solid unique comedy film, that delivers on it’s hard hitting messages.
Happily offers a lovely visual experience, catered by a cool groovy composed score. Happily also has a well ensemble cast, though majority of them are well known in the comedic field, actually all delivered solid performances on their own that go beyond just offering laughs. Especially Joel McHale and Kerry Bishe, who deliver great chemistry together as this picture perfect couple, as individually speaking deliver pretty damn good performances. I really appreciated how everyone involved with this film has a moral purpose, as each couple is fully developed and are all hiding something they’re fully ashamed of, to make themselves less superior than one another. The only issue I have with the characters is one character in particularly, who just comes in and out in the story, as he doesn’t really offer anything to the story.
Happily offers an original story that feels extremely weird, yet not only engaging but metaphorically speaking gets the point across effectively. I felt the film was trying to say that human beings find amusement in other people’s faults and flaws, as well as they demand them to make a mistake. The entire film all these couples hate Tom and Janet because they’re a couple they wish they can be, even one of their friends try to tempt to break them apart in some capacity. Human beings are in envy of other human beings doing well in some capacity, as they feel less superior and insecure next to them. It also speaks volumes towards the end of the film, as we encounter a speaker demanding all couples to reveal themselves, as leaving their secrets at the door. In a way that speaker does resemble how today’s society has been accustomed to: We find a great amount of enjoyment, of watching others fail. Instead of rooting on others to continue their consistency of making right choices and being good, people instead root on others to fail in some capacity, to make themselves less of a loser that they’re currently are.
There is also one effective message, in which human beings will likely fall into temptation if given a valid excuse. Won’t spoil in how that message got across: But it’s done extremely well, as though one couldn’t imagine one like this character would do such a thing, however because of the circumstances of this apparent situation... The character was set free to let go into temptation on their own, we are fully responsible for all choices made in life, as excuses are irrelevant in how we operate our lives. I really enjoyed how this film wraps up, leading towards another effective message: We should all embrace our faults, not let our faults keep us down, as we continue moving forward. At the end of the day: We all tend to make mistakes and even though sometimes it’s devastating... That shouldn’t stop us from continuing life or bettering ourselves in the future. The past is set in stone and there is not a thing you can do to justify the past, however you can determine your own future and how you want to be going forward, as you can indeed progress over the course of time. I thought this film did an effective job in all the messages offered here, in this lone weird narrative. The comedic aspect was solid as well, bringing in some rock solid laugh out moments. I gotta say: I believe Happily will go down as an underrated gem in the year of 2021.
Overall, Happily was a solid comedy film. I recommend checking this one out, forewarning it’s not for everyone, however can be an enjoyable film if having an open mind and paying attention to what the film is trying to say within it’s bizarre narrative. -Mitch Smietana