Main Plot Points:
- Beleaguered Philip Davis is sent at his father’s behest to place his eccentric grandmother, Estelle, into an assisted living facility. To add to his troubles, his small time drug dealer sister, Megan decides to join him, using the trip as a cover for a large marijuana buy.
- When Estelle discovers her grandson’s plan, she furiously takes off for Seattle, unaware that her granddaughter’s drug haul is stashed in the trunk of the car. The estranged siblings have no choice but to go on the road after their wayward grandmother, the taxidermied dog she keeps as a companion, and five pounds of marijuana.
What We Thought:
- This is Happening is a pretty cute little film with a great performance from Cloris Leachman.
- It’s a pretty easy to follow film, Philip (James Wolk) has to get his grandmother (Leachman) into an old age home, but she finds out what he’s up to and takes off. Philip’s Sister Megan (Mickey Sumner) tries to help him get her back while picking up a shipment of weed. Of course there’s shenanigans throughout.
- Wolk plays these “straight” characters extremely well. He’s the solid, professional, do-gooder type. Sumner is the wild one and troublemaker along the way. Their balance works well especially with the scenes involving Leachman.
- Because of Leachman, it reminded me a lot of the TV show Raising Hope. The story goes from one nonsense situation right into another, but with heart and reasoning. Each character genuinely believes what they are doing is for the best no matter how others see it.
- The film is cute and has some laughs, I just thought it could be a bit better. The story and talent is there, but it struggles a little bit.
- Maybe a bigger production might have helped. Sure not every movie can get millions of dollars to play with, but just a bit more would have made it that much better. There’s some continuity errors (Wolk’s gun goes missing from the top of the car) and you see something (possibly a boom pole or camera lens) in the side of a hospital scene and these things could have been fixed with reshoots.
- All that being said, for a film I had never heard of, I still liked This is Happening. It’s a nice little Hollywood film with believable characters and a nice cast. If you like Leachman, see it for sure. If you like Wolk, see it for sure.
Notable Cast & Crew:
- Cloris Leachman
- James Wolk
- Mickey Sumner
- Judd Nelson
Recommended if You Like:
- Raising Hope
- Cloris Leachman!