Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Are You Happy Now Review: A Slow Pace With Plenty of Heart

Release date: December 7, 2021
Running time: 95 minutes
Written and Directed By: David Beinstein 
Starring: Ismenia Mendes, Josh Ruben, David Ebert

ARE YOU HAPPY NOW is the story of Adam, who can’t live without Gina, so when he finally gets the nerve up to ask her to marry he's devastated by her principled refusal. “Husbands used to own their wives!” she retorts, having no interest in recreating her parents tortured home. Gina finally agrees to marry, but Adam's hardly up to the task. Does true love mean divorce?

Your enjoyment of Are You Happy Now will depend greatly on your enjoyment of the cast. The main person of interest in this one is Josh Ruben.  Personally, I really like Josh Ruben and thankfully his character in Are You Happy Now is an enjoyable one.  I liked his mix of slacker character, strange quirks, and overall desire to better himself despite his many mess ups.  And strange quirks this movie has, especially when Adam meets up with his compatriot Walt (Ebert).  And overall, this movie had some laughs and plenty of moments, as Adam tries to understand and come to terms with his own relationship and issues.  And in the end the movie does have a decent amount of heart, even if it takes a while to get there.

But as I just said, Are You Happy Now has a very slow to develop story.  Josh's character is kind of a slacker and that shines through in this film.  Although he seems to want to improve his character, there isn't much drive behind it.  And the biggest issue with this dark comedy is that it is just not that funny.  It has its moments that will make you chuckle, but when you have a talent like Josh Ruben, you expect more.  You will definitely have a smile on your face at times, but you will often also have a blank look as the jokes just don't hit.  And after this very long journey of self discovery, the movie leaves you with an ending that feels appropriate but also unfulfilling.  It will make you wonder whether the journey we took was worth the overall payoff.  

Are You Happy Now has quirky characters and heart, but the long story and hit or miss comedy might make you ask yourself this penultimate question during the film.

Rent it.

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Are You Happy Now is available on December 7, 2021. 

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