Obsessive Love: Dark Comedy “Happily” Begins With a Sizzle and Ends with a Shrug

Joel McHale and Kerry Bishe in a scene from the movie “Happily”. (Courtesy of Saban Films)

We’re at a party where a tall, handsome man makes eye contact with an incredibly attractive woman across the room, and we can see that there’s an immediate connection between the two. Moments later, they’re in the bathroom, engaged in a wild and passionate mating while an impatient party animal waits outside. Why can’t these two have a room?

They actually have a bedroom; more precisely, an entire house, since they have been married for 14 years. And yet, they’re still as hot for each other as they were on their honeymoon, much to the chagrin of everyone they know. What’s wrong with this couple? How can they still be on top of each other like they’ve been in a relationship for 14 weeks and not 14 years? They hardly ever fight, they treat each other with extraordinary respect and attention, and they have sex two or three times a day. It’s unnatural, and it’s irritating, and it’s just weird, and someone has to do something.

That’s the intriguing premise of writer-director BenDavid Grabinski’s dark comedy “Happily,” which is filmed in unmistakable style and features an outstanding cast of familiar faces, but ends up unfolding in an incredibly unsatisfying third act that displays almost his unfinished business. There is nothing inherently wrong with leaving certain things open, but “luckily” chooses not to give us answers in such a flippant and flippant way that we feel betrayed for having invested in the story at this point. moment. And that’s a real shame, because there’s so much promise in this premise, which plays out like a weirdly sunny episode of “Black Mirror” or “The Twilight Zone,” with various characters taking the verbal knives and cutting as deep as possible even if they proclaim their friendship and love for each other.

Stephen Root in a scene from the movie “Happily”. (Courtesy of Saban Films)

Kerry Bishe is the gorgeous and warm Janet, and Joel McHale is her chiseled and caring husband Tom, who is often seen shirtless, and McHale is in such great shape that he looks like he could’ve been the coach. by Ryan Gosling for “Crazy, Stupid, Love.” Their constant displays of public affection and semi-public groping have annoyed their friends to the point that they are unwelcome on a weekend getaway with the gang – and that’s around the time a mysterious stranger in the misleading name of Goodman (Stephen Root) shows up at their front door with two giant needles filled with a serum that will “normalize” Janet and Tom, i.e. correct the problem in the matrix and turn them into a typical married couple who bicker and have sex two or three times a month instead of two or three times a day.

Suffice to say, things don’t go as planned, but Janet and Tom get a last minute invitation for a weekend getaway to a huge house that has a secret weapon room, and it’s never a good one. thing. Reliable comedians like Paul Scheer, Natalie Morales, Breckin Meyer, Natalie Zea and Shannon Woodward play old and new friends who reveal dark secrets, hit each other, get drunk and deal with the fact that a murder has been committed – or has it? “Fortunately” is filled with sneaky references to other movies and biting dialogue, but then we come to that aforementioned fork down the road where we’re either going to find out what’s really going on or everyone is just going to shrug their shoulders. and move on, and the film suffers a lot for taking that last route.

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