Film: Happy Happy

One of the things I love about Netflix is finding quirky, weird little foreign films that I might not otherwise discover. That was the mindset that brought me to Happy Happy (2010), a lowkey, small-scale dramedy I didn’t quite find quirky or weird enough. Pitched as a black comedy, it’s actually a fairly run-of-the-mill relationship story about two couples whose lives intersect in rural Norway. Kaja (Agnes Kittelsen) is a cheerful but bored woman struggling to make her marriage work with cold, inscrutable Eirik (Joachim Rafaelsen). Their lives are turned upside down when they rent their guesthouse to Elisabeth (Maibritt Saebrens) and Sigve (Henrik Rafaelsen), a more sophisticated couple looking to start over in a quiet new place. Anxious to make friends with her new neighbors, Kaja unexpectedly enters into an affair with Sigve, shaking up the lives of both couples.

Aside from a few odd stylistic touches, Happy Happy is conventional fare, well produced and with nicely developed characters, but mostly predictable and unsurprising. Harmlessly watched, but not particularly unique or memorable.

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