A small – and struggling, publishing house run by Tom Duval (Stanley Weber) is buying her novel. It needs work, he says but he’s going to publish it. A two book deal is signed and Jane’s novel becomes an overnight success. A success that he edits to suit a target audience. You see Tom has changed the title to Happy Ending. In the ensuing conflict, Jane ends their friendship, and by proxy, their professional relationship once book two is launched.
Following the success of her debut novel, she begins to date a playwright (who also happens to be adapting the Happy Ending screenplay), and all seems right in Jane’s world. Mere pages away from completing her second novel, Jane’s binge baking habits return. That’s right she has writer’s block. It would seem happiness doesn’t suit Jane.
Not Another Happy Ending (2014) Film Review
Anything with Karen Gillan very nearly guarantees I’ll see it. Of course, there would be limits, but a unique romantic-comedy does not fall within those parameters. This particular film has a… unique set of circumstances. Oh, and did I mention it films in Scotland with accents intact! This does mean the comedy is “different” than American. British comedies do tend to march to their own beat. This film does the same. But, I cannot help but adore every little thing about it. My mom and I watched it, and while she didn’t have the same reaction as I did (she probably won’t care if she ever sees it again), I found this film just as entertaining as I hoped it would be.
What I like most about this script is that it’s not a typical romantic-comedy – certainly not a cookie-cutter format. The writer (this is from a book of the same name) isn’t afraid to find some unique elements that go unused in the genre, and somehow still finds a way to be conventional in all the ways that make us love this genre. Jane’s character is an interesting one; plus she’s easy to relate to because she’s a bookish, quiet sort of girl. Nonetheless scars from her past cling to her, which transitions into her adult relationships.
If you have an inclination towards British comedy, this film is going to be your cup of tea. It’s smart and colors outside the lines. An Indie film that ensembles a fantastic cast (fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will adore seeing Fitz in this) and though the ending works out as a little “out of the box strange,” it does fit with the theme of the film. Another (small) flaw at the end is we’re not 100% convinced that Jane learns much of anything – or anyone else for that matter. She does reach a breaking point, but by the time the credits roll, there is no definite “lesson received” for anyone. It leaves off back where it starts which does lessen the impact some. Though to be fair, it’s all in keeping true to the “style” of the movie, something that’s more humor-laced than anything that resonates, subliminal or otherwise.
Flaws and all, I do love this film. It’s the definition of a British Indie comedy and seems to relish keeping the laughs coming. Even still, this isn’t without its poignant scenes involving a father and daughter or in Jane’s
struggle to reconcile her past for a chance at a healthier future (which is noble). It helps that the humor is darn awesome. If you like things that are quirky (one example being Jane’s talks with her heroine) as opposed to ordinary, you might be happy to have discovered the anything-but-ordinary, unique brand of happiness
in Not Another Happy Ending.
(CONTENT: Played for laughs, there’s a scene of Jane writing naked. Someone shows up at her house, which inspires the scene to be prolonged – the camera shows side and back nudity during the scene. There is some innuendo – and Jane lives with her boyfriend [we see them making out and taking each other’s clothes off before the scene cuts]. Profanity (and crudities) including some British slang appear through the film. The film rates PG13.)