Family is the most important thing in the world to Kaja. She is an eternal optimist in spite of living with a man who would rather go hunting with the boys, and who refuses to have sex with her because she “isn’t particularly attractive” anymore. Whatever. That’s life.
But when “the perfect couple” moves in next door, Kaja struggles to keep her emotions in check. Not only do these successful, beautiful, exciting people sing in a choir; they have also adopted a child from Ethiopia! These new neighbors open a new world to Kaja, with consequences for everyone involved. And when Christmas comes around, it becomes evident that nothing will ever be like before even if Kaja tries her very best.
The cover quotes for Happy Happy say “Hilarious” and “A winning comedy,” but I would categorize this film as a drama. There was little to laugh about in this tender yet heartbreaking depiction of two families coming apart at the seams. There is even a painful subplot of Kaja’s son treating the adopted child from the other family as an actual slave. The acting is superb and the story keeps you hooked in, waiting to see how (and if) the acts of betrayal can be resolved. This is a serious film, but an excellent portrayal of family and complicated relationships. Happy Happy is in Norwegian with English – and some German – subtitles.
Audio & Video:
The Blu-ray’s picture quality and audio were great. Set in Norway, there was lots of bright white snow. Most of the interior colors were muted neutrals, and I found myself happily surprised to see a burst of color in Kaja’s dress towards the end.
- U.S. Theatrical Trailer
- International Trailer
If you are looking for pure comedy, then Happy Happy is not for you. If, however, you are looking for an insightful, well-acted, and honest film about betrayal and moving forward, you won’t be disappointed. Happy Happy didn’t win the World Cinema Jury Award at Sundance by mistake.
Extra Features: B