Happy, Happy

Happy, Happy

(Sykt lykkelig)
(2010)

Norwegian sex romp comedy that won the Grand Jury Award (World Cinema Drama) at Sundance 2011. Centres on the consequential misbehavings of two married couples and the politically incorrect games of their children.... More

"There’s a well-honed eye for marital malaise here that’s reminiscent of Mike Leigh – and a matter-of-fact attention to details of sexual shenanigans that’s much more... well, Scandinavian. Schoolteacher Kaja lives happily enough in a remote town with her husband Eirik and their son. Eirik’s sour temper becomes much more obvious to the habitually chipper Kaja when affable Sigve, his lawyer wife Elisabeth and their adopted Ethiopian son move from the city and rent the (only) house next door. While the boys play games of unspeakable political incorrectness, their oblivious parents play more consequential grown-up games: truth or dare, for example, and hide and seek." (Source: NZ International Film Festival 2011)Hide

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Flicks Review

There can't be many films you'd describe as featuring Norwegians, choirs, child racism and blow jobs, but Happy, Happy is one of 'em. Infidelity is the central subject of this sex farce which centres on the relationship between two couples who become neighbours and soon share more in common than just their close living proximity. That's helped by the neediness of housewife Kaja who thinks she's made a new BFF in the form of Elisabeth, newly relocated to the countryside with her husband to repair their relationship after an affair. This is just one of the things that begin to come to light along with a host of other awkward secrets in a couples’ board game that hints at the problems within each set of partners.... More

A number of genuine laugh out loud moments punctuate the first half of Happy, Happy, including a game of Pictionary featuring the unusual board game clue 'AIDS', an odd master/slave relationship between the couples' white and black sons, and the aforementioned choir which serves as an unusual counterpoint to the immorality behind closed doors.

By midway through the film an unorthodox love rectangle has formed and Happy, Happy moves from somewhat quirky and bawdy farce into more standard dramatic territory. This shift in tone sadly makes the film's third act a little tedious, with the earlier comedic aspects proving to be the strongest component of Happy, Happy but the mix of Sundance, scandal and Scando still has its moments.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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The Press Reviews

85% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • "Happy, Happy" is a very strange film. Yet I was happy to be watching. It is short and intense enough that it always seems on track, even if the train goes nowhere. Full Review

  • Kittelsen's performance is the linchpin of the film -- her open, emotive face reveals as much about her thoughts as her poor impulse control. Full Review

  • The movie's understanding and insight come in moments so incisive that the sharpness will sting. Full Review

  • Although the film’s performances, especially Ms. Kittelsen’s, are strong, “Happy, Happy” is tepid stuff. Full Review

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