HAPPY

HAPPY
5 Stars
Year Released: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 7 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:

“Happiness comes in small doses folks. It’s a cigarette, or a chocolate cookie, or a five second orgasm. That’s it, ok!”- Denis Leary

As much as Leary was sure of his words when it came to talking about the fickle nature of happiness, it’s not easy for 20-something Ben (Eric Silver) to find it. He looks 25, or even 26, sitting with his girlfriend Sara (Jessie Hutcheson), barely wanting to submit to one of those glossy magazine surveys, but a deal’s a deal between the two. He had Sara pose like a girl in the magazine and now it’s his turn. In inhabiting this character, Silver looks like John Cusack and Matthew Broderick becoming John Broderick or Matthew Cusack. He has the innocence of Broderick as if Bueller was suddenly approaching the days without parades, using a friend’s car, or just tooling around Chicago. He also possesses the alternate easy-going feeling and weariness of Cusack, who sees and tries tirelessly, but knows that the battle isn’t remotely simple. Ben dutifully answers Sara’s questions from the survey, which leads to a discussion where a young, college-graduated man doesn’t yet want to go toward, such as a question about why she never met his parents which leads to a flashback of him visiting his father and not opening up a conversation. Something still sticks. We don’t need to know what it is. It’s just there.

By adopting this attitude toward both characters, writers Luke Stettner (who directed and builds upon his previous “Myron”) and Jason Feuerstein (who produced “Myron” as well) allow us a general feeling toward Ben and Sara. You might feel like them while you’re reading this. Everyday, happiness is different. What we find elating one day is stress the next day. A tall cup of Cappuccino from Starbucks one day, possesses a loose lid the next. For Ben, it’s also going in between women. There’s not only Sara, but another girl who lies in his bed when he’s away. What he’s looking for is only known to him. Confusion, maybe some misunderstanding, and a struggle is what it is to him. Stettner and Feuerstein are downright clever in zipping backwards from “Myron”, which held the end of a man’s life to this, the beginning of a new birth. He’s already born, but in going from being young and innocent to young and deeply affected by all around him, he has much more to figure out which is frustrating enough for anyone just as young. Both creators have an uncanny way of presenting this to us, of never letting the camera attain a steady position, stealthily moving it around so that we don’t notice all that much and at the same time using it to reflect Ben’s state of mind at that time.

Now I need to find the yellow pages. Does anyone know where I can find a surgeon who fuses people together? Stettner and Feuerstein do so well together that it should become a permanent arrangement. Anybody? Anybody?



Posted on November 4, 2005 in Reviews by
Buffer


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