Happy Happy (2011)

Happy Happy
Add to Queue

Sex scenes, sexual references and nudity

Director: Anne Sewitsky
Actors: Agnes Kittelsen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Joachim Rafaelsen, Maibritt Saerens

Literally translated as 'insanely happy', Norway's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is a hilarious cautionary tale about adults behaving badly. Housewife Kaja remains unfailingly optimistic despite domestic boredom and a husband who won't have sex with her. When couple Sigve and Elisabeth relocate nearby, however, home-cooked meals and parlour games lead to clandestine cavorting and confused sexual hijinks.

DVD
Status: LongWait
Run time: 85mins
Origin: NORWAY
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: Norwegian Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English
by Simon Miraudo,

Don’t be fooled: movies with ‘happy’ in the title are rarely that. Happy Go Lucky?  Very, very sad. The Pursuit of Happyness? Super depressing. Come on, Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story? Anyone who has seen the reality-TV show Breaking Bonaduce knows that tale didn’t come to a cheerful conclusion. Continuing that fine tradition is Anne Sewitsky’s Norwegian comedyHappy Happy, literally translated from Sykt lykkelig to Insanely Happy. The adorable Agnes Kittelsen stars as Kaja (not unlike the peppy Poppy from Mike Leigh’s aforementioned Happy Go Lucky). Stuck in a sexless marriage to her closeted husband (Joachim Rafaelsen), she eagerly awaits the arrival of new neighbours coming in from the big city. Sigve (Henrik Rafaelsen) and Elisabeth (Maibritt Saerens) with their adopted son Noa ...

Don’t be fooled: movies with ‘happy’ in the title are rarely that. Happy Go Lucky?  Very, very sad. The Pursuit of Happyness? Super depressing. Come on, Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story? Anyone who has seen the reality-TV show Breaking Bonaduce knows that tale didn’t come to a cheerful conclusion.

Continuing that fine tradition is Anne Sewitsky’s Norwegian comedyHappy Happy, literally translated from Sykt lykkelig to Insanely Happy. The adorable Agnes Kittelsen stars as Kaja (not unlike the peppy Poppy from Mike Leigh’s aforementioned Happy Go Lucky). Stuck in a sexless marriage to her closeted husband (Joachim Rafaelsen), she eagerly awaits the arrival of new neighbours coming in from the big city. Sigve (Henrik Rafaelsen) and Elisabeth (Maibritt Saerens) with their adopted son Noa (Ram Shihab Ebedy) are immediately smothered by Kaja, who wants them to become instant BFFs. However, her smiling veneer soon cracks after a couple of disastrous dinner parties, and a somewhat incestuous love-quadrangle emerges between the two couples.

Happy Happy took home the prestigious World Cinema – Dramatic prize at Sundance earlier in the year (the same title given to Animal Kingdom in 2010, but that’s where the similarities end). Now it’s Norway’s contender for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Oscars, and it’s just the kind of relationship dramedy the Academy eat up.

As well they should. A marital drama this fun, honest and well-performed deserves recognition. Like The Kids Are All Right and infinite Woody Allen films before it, Happy Happy is a charming little picture that, despite being over-sentimental at times, is human enough to be considered a valuable gem.

3.5/5

Check out Simon's other reviews here.

Read More

Member Reviews (3)

Cambo of Brisbane
says
Highly recommended even if the scenario is a little implausible. On the other hand, the world is a messed-up, yet beautiful and intriguing place - much like the setting of this film in many respects. And we all grow-up, and all look back upon the mistakes we have made. To my sensitivities, this film has a well -chosen and very well -acted cast and script which is easy to relate to. On the whole, I enjoyed it very much. P.S. I'd rather be in Scandinavia than good 'old Brisbane I gotta say "maate".
Posted Saturday, 4 January 2014 See my other reviews
jennie
says
Sorry, did not click for me. Did not watch it all.
Posted Monday, 21 January 2013 See my other reviews
Phil
says
A small movie with a surprising storyline and very good actors. The soundtrack was great as well.
Posted Monday, 17 December 2012 See my other reviews
Paused... Buffering... Playing...
Play
Play
Pause
 
 
1:00