- Review: “Happiness for Beginners” – A Safe Bet in the Rom-com Genre
- Editorial: The Struggle of Rom-coms to Break Free from Convention
- Advice: Exploring the Boundaries of Happiness
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Review: “Happiness for Beginners” – A Safe Bet in the Rom-com Genre
In today’s world, where chaos and uncertainty often prevail, many of us find solace in the occasional romantic comedy that promises a few laughs and a happy ending. “Happiness for Beginners,” directed by Vicky Wight, attempts to deliver exactly that. Starring Ellie Kemper and Luke Grimes, this film explores themes of self-discovery and romance in a predictable yet heartwarming manner.
A Familiar Plot with a Twist of Adventure
The story revolves around Helen, a recently divorced 30-something, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery during a group hiking excursion along the Appalachian Trail. Along the way, she unexpectedly falls in love with her brother’s best friend, Jake. While the plot may sound cliché, the addition of an adventure element breathes new life into the story.
A Polite Approach to Comedy
“Happiness for Beginners” trades in warm-and-fuzzy predictability, offering a safe and inoffensive brand of humor. The comedic moments in the film mostly stem from the eccentricities of the hikers, who serve as a quirky Greek chorus to Helen and Jake’s budding relationship. However, the film consistently backpedals from its own tenderness, relying on jokes about the hikers’ ineptitude and misadventures in the woods. This hesitancy to fully commit to its own heartfelt moments prevents the film from truly shining.
Chemistry and Charm Salvage the Film
Despite its shortcomings, “Happiness for Beginners” benefits from the undeniable chemistry between Ellie Kemper and Luke Grimes. Their performances inject life into the otherwise predictable plot, keeping the audience engaged. However, there are moments when the story seems to tread water, lacking the necessary depth and emotional impact to leave a lasting impression.
Editorial: The Struggle of Rom-coms to Break Free from Convention
While “Happiness for Beginners” may not be the groundbreaking rom-com that revolutionizes the genre, it raises important questions about the limitations that romantic comedies often face. In an attempt to cater to a broad audience, these films often fall into the trappings of predictability, leaving little room for innovation.
Viewers yearn for rom-coms that break free from convention and challenge societal norms, offering fresh perspectives on love and relationships. The success of recent films like “Crazy Rich Asians” and “The Big Sick” highlights the demand for stories that embrace diversity and tackle complex themes within the genre. It is time for filmmakers to take risks and push the boundaries of what a rom-com can be.
Advice: Exploring the Boundaries of Happiness
While “Happiness for Beginners” may not leave a profound impact, it offers a pleasant escape for those seeking a light-hearted rom-com. If you’re looking for a film to unwind at the end of a long day, this may be the perfect choice. However, for those craving a more thought-provoking and boundary-pushing cinematic experience, it may be worth exploring other options in the genre.
Romantic comedies have the potential to not only entertain but also challenge our preconceived notions about happiness, love, and relationships. As viewers, we should demand more from this genre, encouraging filmmakers to venture into uncharted territory and redefine the rom-com for the modern era.
Ultimately, “Happiness for Beginners” serves as a reminder that while safe bets can provide comfort, it is the riskier endeavors that often yield the most rewarding results.
<< photo by Luna Lovegood >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.
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