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  • I caught the premiere of Happy at the Sundance Film Festival. I'm a huge fan of Josh Radnor (best known for his role as Ted Mosby on the CBS series, How I Met Your Mother), but remained a little skeptical going in since this is a first-time film for him. I was pleasantly surprised! This movie is so charming; I couldn't help falling in love with all of the characters. I was especially impressed by Tony Hale's endearing performance as Sam #2, who tries to win the affection of Annie (Malin Akerman), a woman with Alopecia who struggles with the idea of someone being so smitten with her. Mary Catherine (Zoe Kazan) and Charlie (Pablo Schreiber) are absolutely adorable together and have an unbeatable on screen chemistry. They are at a crossroads in their relationship as Charlie tries to sell Mary Catherine on the idea of leaving their home in New York to move to L.A.

    Sam (Josh Radnor), Mississippi (Kate Mara) and Rasheen (Michael Algieri) round out the cast of characters. Mississippi is a cabaret singer who catches the eye of Sam early in the film and while their hesitation to throw caution to the wind and go for each other is annoying at times, it brings a much-needed realism over romance approach to their relationship.

    Rasheen was an audience favorite and his role adds a unique piece to this puzzle, playing a foster boy separated from his family on the subway who is rescued and looked after by Sam. It is truly an enjoyable highlight of the film to watch their interactions as they grow from perfect strangers to close friends. An amazing dynamic is brought to the script through their friendship, but not without Rasheen's life before Sam looming in the distance.

    If this movie is any indication of Josh's talent as a writer, I can't wait to see more of his work. It contains all of the elements of a romantic comedy, yet manages to completely avoid the clichés and predictability that are typically found in this genre. It is clever, heartwarming, hopeful and hilarious. I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes the big hit of Sundance 2010. Congratulations to Josh and everyone behind this film!
  • I watched this without a clue what it was about. But soon after it started, I found myself wondering with bated breath what would happen next, and next, and next, and next. The dialogue was as fresh and colorful as the cast. The direction was steered by a steady hand that knew when to back off and when to tone things down, when to intensify, and how close and to and at what angle the camera should be to the actors. The direction never condescends to its audience as the direction of most romantic comedies do. Nor does this movie smother us with too much wit or too much symbolism. The movie was practically perfect in that it balanced what I think we ask of our comedic dramas: a fresh look at love and humor, believability, and poignancy. It felt so richly human that when it was over I felt that I had watched a new hot play instead of a movie, that's how vivid it was, that's how roughly hewn and real it was.

    For those who desperately need some kind of plot-frame before seeing it, I'll give you a jumping off point. It starts with a New York late 20s/early 30s struggling novelist who decides to help a lost boy find his way back home.
  • This is an excellent "slice of life" movie, very easy to relate to and entertaining. It manages to be optimistic without being saccharine sweet. The writer/director, while male, depicts women characters with compassion and understanding. And New York in summer feels like the real thing, in a way that the best Woody Allen films do. Most impressive and enjoyable, though, are the performances. Malin Ackerman has never been better. Tony Hale is a revelation! Josh is excellent (and nothing like Ted Mosby). The little boy, Michael Algieri, is a natural. And Kate Mara -- omg! Not only is she gorgeous, funny and engaging, she's an amazing singer!! Watching her one feels a star being born. The songs by Jaymay -- which are the movie's score -- are perfect. And tech credits (cinematography, editing, production design) are fantastic.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    No, no, no. I'm sorry guys. This film just doesn't deliver.

    Yes, it got the indie music ("we feel a little sad, but we're kinda ironic about it, so it's kinda OK, even though we don't like things to be like really OK"). Yes, it got the love story - actually three of them which makes it quite surprising that none of them are rather believable (bald girl falls for ugly guy, because he wants to treat her like a princess, even though she only really seems to care about her not having any hair, the boring couple gets a good talk, even though it's obvious they're only together because they don't know what else to do - and our main person, let's call him Mr. Irritating gets the extremely hot girl, because he... Well, never really figured that part out, but I guess the director had to use her pretty face as a good end frame). Yes, it got the "just let things happen"-kinda feeling, but really the only thing people really do in this movie is NOT to let things happen. This is not indie. This is indie-wanna-be. This is "About A Boy" produced with less money and absolutely a horrible, clichéd manuscript, that only struggling actors and actresses will like (hey, it gets you on the poster, right?). I give it three stars because I actually did watch it to the end to see if anything remotely interesting happened and because of the extremely sweet Kate Mara (playing "Mississippi" - a reference with no real meaning for the film at all - don't think you'll learn these characters besides the obvious "I just want to be loved by someone"). But Kate is sweet. Very sweet - and her alone is worth two stars.
  • As someone who enjoys shameless chick flicks and Josh Radnor, but is also a Sundance enthusiast, I really wanted to like this film. The storyline was fine, the music by Jaymay was awesome, the actors are all decent.

    That being said, it was totally apparent that Radnor is still an amateur at writing and directing. You know how, in high school, when your friend asked you to read their angsty poetry, and it took all of you not to roll your eyes? That's what watching this movie was kind of like.

    There was so much contrived drama that it would have been better suited to a soap opera or comedy. Instead, the actors had to take a superficially dramatic script and try to wring some drama out of it. For instance, the movie starts off with a one-night-stand leaving Radnor's apartment just as he wakes up and realizes he is late for an interview. Conveniently, his best friend leaves a voicemail as he's getting ready, as if she would know he were there listening, perfectly timed to tell him to tuck his shirt in right as he finishes dressing. But it's not a comedy! It's just trying to be clever. He ends up speaking with her on the phone and says something like, "Why did I oversleep? Why am I so afraid of success?" This sounds exactly like what some screen writing student would think that a self-pitying artist would say. The rest of the movie moves conveniently along these lines: things a screen writing student THINKS his characters would say. Unfortunately, film enthusiasts will be unsurprised by every line fed to them from here on out.

    Rasheen's character was great and would have made this a promising movie if only his presence in the plot was not based on some ridiculous presence.

    I'm curious to see what Radnor will do next, but he'd probably be wise to work on short films and practice the art of delighting the audience in as little time as possible before attempting a longer format again.
  • I adored this film, it was one of my favorites at Sundance, and the cast & crew were amazingly sweet people. The film is a trio of intertwined stories involving six New Yorkers dealing with the complexities of love, friendship and identity. While this premise may sound familiar, its charm is refreshing and its character keeps the film from becoming just another romantic comedy. The main story focuses on Sam Wexler, a struggling writer (Radnor ), who, during a particularly bad day when he encounters a young boy (played by the adorable Michael Algieri) who's been separated from his family. When the boy reveals that he is unhappy in foster care, Sam decides to bring the boy back to his apartment, and a unique friendship begins to develop between the two. This friendship both initiates and complicates Sam's romance with a beautiful cabaret singer named Mississippi (Kate Mara). I really recommend this film. I can't wait for it to be released in theaters so my friends and family can see it.
  • EyeDunno30 January 2011
    There seems to be a new kind of dramedy-type storytelling, and we liked what we saw in HappyThankYouMorePlease. Write off asking yourself why some of the characters did what they did; if you burden yourself with trying to understand their logic as the stories unfold, you may get too frustrated with one or more characters. Just embrace the film, as the characters will eventually answer the questions you've been asking.

    At first I was a little confused with the way the stories were intertwined, but by allowing them to unfold, I truly began to empathize with almost everyone in the film. I understand that it's a "coming-of-age" flick. But the way the characters portrayed themselves and interacted with each other, I grew to enjoy everyone. And don't be gun-shy about another COA flick (even as they are being so played out, it seems).

    The difference to me, was how the characters acted towards each other. There seemed to be a decent bit of ad-libbing that helps bring down the guard of a skeptical viewer. There were good friends that seemed like they were long-time friends who happened to get together to make this film. I found myself rooting for each main character. The photography was nice, the writing and acting were special. Direction was very sensitive to people who are complicated in their goals of streamlining their lives. I empathized with them as they had to confront their adversities (or, themselves). The deduction I gave was for feeling a bit confused during the first part of the film. By its end, I was very satisfied.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Starring a plank of wood named Josh Radnor, who is capable of two expressions throughout the film, bewilderment and... (ok, just one, but he pouts his lips a lot), this film made wonder if the title wasn't better suited for an adult film. A movie with an incredulous, perhaps creepy storyline, it promotes kidnapping as a legitimate form of adoption and coercion as a legitimate form of dating. Akerman comes off like a Hollywood tour director with her unnaturally happy portrayal of Annie, and her new beau "Sam #2" played by Tony Hale scares the poop out of you, though he's really supposed to be heart-warming. Perhaps the only two bright spots of the film are Kate Mara's charm and the occasional lines of dialogue that are actually good. Unfortunately, by the end of the film I was just happy it had ended, even if the ending was like a TV show that had been cancelled well before the end of the season. So maybe I get the "happy" part of the title, as in "Happyitsover", but the rest should read, "NOthankyouIwantedmoreplease".
  • What a movie....what a movie..... I must say I'm a big fan of Josh Radnor because of his hit series "How I met your mother" and (who isn't?) I think as a writer he is amazing and he has a long way to go. He has mentioned his love for short stories unknowingly in the TV show many times and I must say his endeavour has never gone unnoticed. Josh Radnor has a real potential. He just brought it together and the rest was obvious. The writing was superb(I'm a writer myself so bro Respect!) and not to forget the brilliant direction done by Josh himself.

    A wonderful debut, by the way, as a director for him and all the very best wishes to him for his future ventures. Awesome acting and some great performances by the cast that included Malin Akerman (as usual she is brilliant in this flick too), Kate Mara (I'm beginning to like her already)and Zoe Kazan(with her sweet role which she generally plays quite naturally).

    The story was wonderful. Gotta watch it to know it. I'd give it a 7 on 10 and I think the flick deserved it. I'd recommend everyone to go and watch this one because it certainly is worth all the accolades.
  • I've been watching HIMYM for years now and was really curious to see this film. But apart from its title which made me even more curious I'm not impressed. The story didn't succeed in keeping my attention. Repeatedly I realized that I was busy with my phone catching up on emails or reading something on IMDb or playing scrabble - at some point I got so annoyed with the background jabbering (movie) that I turned it off. So in short I was so bored that I didn't even make it through the movie. The characters are just boring, we've seen their problems already so often. The colors of the film were boring, the camera was sometimes interesting but not interesting enough for me to be able to ignore the script. Judging from the official reviews and being the same age as Josh Radnor I thought this would be a movie that I could relate to but no.

    It's too bad because like I said before I was really excited to see it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I watched this movie without knowing that Josh Radnor was involved in the direction and the script.

    Josh's character is a writer that has had a moderate success with short novels but struggle to write longer stories. This courageous auto-critic of the author is a warning about what is about to follow.

    This film is constructed with 3 parallel stories with little to tie them together. There is a friendship between the characters but it feels like a glue more than something that helps to develop the plot.

    Then there is about 6 irritating music montage that try to smooth the angles between scenes. It feels more like the writer struggled to put the story together so he filled it up with some cool music and images.

    As much as I wanted to care about the characters, I couldn't do it because they keep doing stupid choice about their life: Rosh should just go prison for abducting a child. The bald girl shouldn't hook up with stupid ex or go out with the obsessive stalker (the movie ends before she get sacrificed in a weird satanic ritual) and the couple should just break up because they are annoying.

    On the positive side, there is a few good shots, a few interesting dialogs. But it will not save you from boredom.
  • I watched this stunningly empty piece of vanity celluloid from Josh Radnor, one of the How I Met Your Mother guys. I guess he had so much money on his hands that he thought he might as well follow his ambition to be a filmmaker. I can only hope he got it out of his system.

    I keep imagining Radnor watching Garden State, thinking, "I can do that!"

    No, apparently you can't.

    Y'know, I chuckle when people on IMDb use superlatives to describe every pedestrian film that comes down the pike, but this is one time it may indeed be appropriate. Happythankyoumoreplease may be the worst movie I've ever seen. It is scary bad. It is offensively bad. It is a lot of young beautiful people trying to act as though their lives have meaning and import, but not one of them has experienced a genuine challenge yet in life. Neither as characters, nor, judging from the insufferable pettiness of the performances, as actual human beings. I don't wish evil or hardship to befall them, except to say, it would make them far more believable and substantive as artists.

    I'm just sorry Pablo Schreiber and Kate Mara got mixed up in this mess.
  • Being one of the most talked about films coming out of Sundance earlier this year, "Happythankyoumoreplease" made it's way to the Gen Art film festival and was presented as their opening night feature. Having heard all the buzz surrounding this film and usually enjoying most of the bigger films that come out of Sundance, I was very intrigued to see the film. Did the movie live up to the buzz or was it just overkill, continue reading to read my opinion on the film.

    "Happythankyoumoreplease" features a talented and fresh cast of people. The basic premise of the film features the current generation of 20 somethings who live in NY. The story focuses on several characters and their battles with growing up, understanding how the world works, and ultimately what it means to fall in love with the right person for them. This interesting and feel good film was told by Josh Radnor, who not only directed but wrote the film.

    The best way to describe "Happythankyoumoreplease" is a mainstream film with an independent budget. While the movie itself didn't really have an independent feel to it, I would say it did have some elements that made it feel "indie" so to speak. The well established actors and actresses in the film, a storyline that was very crowd pleasing, and overall pretty typical characters made it feel mainstream. However, the amount of character development along with some of the characters such as Malin Akerman's character Annie are the elements that gave it a more independent feel.

    Like most good independent films, the well written characters and the actors who played them were the highlight of this film. Having never seen a single episode of "How I Met Your Mother" I was totally unaware of who Josh Radnor was and I was totally honest with him about it when I met him later in the evening. What he did with this film was good especially for a first time director and writer plus I give him even more kudos points for starring in the film as well.

    The script, which as noted above was written by Radnor, is actually decent especially with mixing independent elements with mainstream elements. Some of the characters were rather typical such as Mississippi played by the talented Kate Mara and Sam #2 played by Tony Hale. These two characters felt like they were directly out of every movie you have seen in the past. Mississippi is the beautiful and talented singer who keeps falling for the wrong guy and then Tony Hale is the dork with the heart of gold. These characters aren't as deep as say Radnor's character Sam or Alkerman's Emma because these characters are just well written characters with a lot of depth. I will also have to point out that little Michael Algieri is a total scene stealer. Guarantee almost every woman who sees this film will fall in love with the kid. He is just adorable and his storyline, although it was not really fleshed out as much as I would like, was fairly interesting. All in all I felt everyone in the film played their roles well I just felt certain characters had more depth and others were too clichéd so to speak.

    The overall message the film as I said was a feel good one. You knew where this film was going within the first 10 minutes and you knew exactly what was going to happen. The simplistic storyline was really the main thing that urked me about it. You had so many great lead actors and actresses and I felt the direction it took was just the typical one. I expected some stunners here and there but didn't get them despite in the beginning feeling like it was going to be a tad out of the ordinary. I cant really knock it too much though because I enjoyed it and really didn't feel it dragged at all. I guess I was just expecting more. I guess what I was expecting was the next "(500) Days of Summer" but this film wasn't it.

    In conclusion, "Happythankyoumoreplease" won the audience award at the Gen Art film festival and the reason it won was because it was a crowd pleaser. This isn't an original work of art but its a fun little film with a talented cast and a simplistic overall story. The actors and the character development make it more worthy then most multiple character films similar to it but I still expected more from it than what I got. I guess for a first time writer and director its a good start and I think this film will do fairly well when it hits the local multiplexes later in the year.

    MovieManMenzel's final rating for "Happythankyoumoreplease" is a 7 out of 10.
  • suneha-274909 December 2020
    I think my title sums up my feelings. I was bored throughout the film and the cliche elements made me want to quit the film several times. Some of the "deep" scenes were downright cringey and laughable. It was trying so hard to be different but it was just so... predictable. I'm sorry but I really don't see what other people see in this film. I honestly felt that this was a waste of my time. Having a few diverse characters and mostly boring storylines does not make a good movie in my opinion.
  • "I was a well-fed, middle-class kid who came from good parents; I've got no material." Those words, spoken by Sam the writer, are just one example of how Josh Radnor blurs the lines between writer and character in his debut film, happythankyoumoreplease.

    In it, we follow the lives of a few late-20s/early-30s bachelors and bachelorettes in New York City, a place Radnor portrays endearingly. Sam (played by Radnor) is a cynical writer desperately trying to sell one of his short stories. His best friend Anne (Malin Akerman) can't seem to stop dating the wrong guys. His cousin Mary (Zoe Kazan) is pressured by her boyfriend to go to Los Angeles (a city she loathes) and leave New York (the city she calls home). Along the way we meet all sorts of characters, including Rasheen, a "young black child" who, after shuffling through several foster families, has no home.

    Sam takes Rasheen in for awhile, at least until he can figure out what to do with him. Anne accuses him of using the boy for material, but it's more complicated than that. Although we've seen the little-kid-sidekick device before, it's so lightheartedly entertaining here that we really don't care. Michael Algieri's debut as Rasheen will steal your heart.

    I have yet to mention Mississippi, a bartender/cabaret singer, played by the lovely Kate Mara, who serves as Sam's romantic conflict. They hit it off quickly, possibly too quickly, and we wonder if they've met at the wrong time. Regardless, their interactions are the most cringe-worthy of the film (see: "let's clean each other up" and "you write short stories, I'm ready for the novel").

    On the other hand, great music from Jaymay kept me in tune with the film's title. It serves as a narrative soundtrack for happythankyoumoreplease and gives it an indie feel (the film won the Audience Award for Best Drama at Sundance).

    Although at times cheesy and clichéd, Radnor's debut tells an epigrammatic story about characters we genuinely care about. Sam's not delivering a profound revelation when he says "every five years I realize what an asshole I was five years ago." Yet the inherent modesty in that statement says a lot about Radnor's work.
  • I really wanted to like this movie. I told myself it was written for a younger audience (I'm 38), but then I reminded myself I was once in my 20's and it did not take me back. There was another couple in the theater that left 10 minutes into the movie. I thought they probably could have given it a little more time...till 10 more minutes passed and I wished I'd left with them. The acting was fine, but the story was too idealistic...something written in junior high school. Maybe my husband and I are out of touch with the younger crowd...the 10 or so other people in the theater seemed to laugh at times and enjoy this movie.
  • This guy (the writer, director, actor) must know someone in high places because no one could see this movie and not want to pull their hair out after viewing this film. I was stuck in the center of the row so escaping was not an option as the script rolled out one cliché after another. Worst performance was the lead actor playing Sam Wexler. The most interesting thing about the movie was the premise...from there it literally fell apart into a mind numbing want to be art house movie where everyone has an epiphany in the form of the one line bumper sticker (including the lost little boy) that is supposed to neatly wrap up the story line. The time I spent in the theater seeing this movie are two hours of my life that I can't get back....
  • It is one of the most interesting and amusing movies I've ever seen. The script is very very simple, but the execution is brilliant. Josh has shown tremendous potential and talent with his acting,Direction and screenplay. The screenplay is the most interesting part. Really loved the movie. Honestly its one of those movies which i wanted to go on for a few extra minutes at least. I felt really happy and content through out. The soundtrack also is pretty good but most importantly it compliments the movie and makes it look complete. Michael Algieri seem at home with his part. One can connect to it quite easily.Two thumbs-up for it.
  • emdeewee12 July 2012
    Three stars: two for the music, one for Mississippi.

    This is one of those 'misplaced irony' movies that this decade seems to have a monopoly for. I hear echo's from Gilmore Girls, Ally Mcbeal, and other hip 'ironic' series: series where characters have an ironic take on their (drama-deprived) lives, but it's a totally misplaced irony. Misplaced, because you know from the beginning that nobody really suffers from anything at all. It is as if the characters know from the first second that they are in a movie in which everything is going to be fine, so they 'take their problems rather lightly', and only act as if in pain.

    Everything in this is unrealistic. There is a writer, but we don't know what he really writes about. He is just the appearance of a writer. Somehow he thinks that being born black and poor is guaranteed a success, while being a white suburban kid doesn't deliver anything: if there is one thing though, that makes a lousy writer, it's a lack of spirit and imagination. A writer who sees a small boy drawing magnificently, and only thinks about how 'big' and 'succesful' and 'rich' this kid could become? That's the least inspiring take on such a thing. It reveals the writers and director of this movie as a new york bunch who try their best at being creative themselves, but in a superficial, and sort of boring kind of way, more as a being part of a hip trend than as necessity.

    The role of the kid in the story is the worst. He's nothing more than a dramatic instrument.

    A movie that looks like a lot, but when watched with your BS-detector switched on, is endlessly empty.

    I am sorry! I want to like movies, and I am the easiest victim when a movie is even a bit good!!!
  • This is the debut film of Josh Radnor. I saw it at the Gasparilla Film Festival and really liked it. The producer, Jesse talked about the positive message that the film tries to convey about simply trying until you succeed This movie is a warm story of young people struggling with relationships in New York City. In the end, the character resolve most of their relationship issues and the ending is satisfying. This story was told with heart and warmth.

    Josh Radnor did a great job both as a director and as the leading actor. The girl with the autoimmune disorder felt she was unlovable. The man who wins her over does so by convincing her that she deserves to be loved. This is a universal message that is not told enough in movies.
  • wegvomsethiergehtsumrap24 January 2011
    ..for this really great movie. I had no idea what this movie was about. Just saw the Cover and went for it. I am really not the biggest fan of love stories and if i would have known before i guess i may not have watched this movie ;) But it was something really refreshing. manly fresh faces who in my eyes had really fun to come together for this movie. I hoped it wont stop, but now it did i wish there will be no "part 2" as we all know where this road will go ;) So i spare you all the details, just go and see something else, dive into the lives of some friendly NY people! (But now i have to write more lines to make it fit the 10 Line's Limit although i said all i wanted to say. I feel like Sam Nr.1 trying to squeeze a story out. i thought about deleting my useless comment but i only come here when i liked a movie very much, so i decided to stay and finish these lines!)
  • Greetings again from the darkness. If such a thing existed in Hollywood, I wouldn't be surprised if Woody Allen brought a Trademark Infringement suit against writer/director Josh Radnor. There is even a clear reference to Mr. Allen, who must be one of Radnor's idols. Of course, similar ideas and approaches happen frequently in movies, so really what we have is a snapshot in time of what it's like to be a young (late 20's to early 30's) New Yorker trying to figure out life.

    Radnor is one of the stars of "How I Met Your Mother" and this is his filmmaking debut. He does show some promise despite some weakness in the script and too dang many close-ups - talking heads, as I call them. His goal was to take an intimate look at relationships and the road to maturity, which is often filled with potholes. This seems especially true for those artistic types who are convinced New York is the only land of opportunity in existence.

    There are 4 stories going on: Sam (Josh Radnor) is a struggling writer who meets Mississippi (Kate Mara), a cabaret singer/waitress; Mary Catherine (Zoe Kazan) and Charlie (Pablo Schreiber) have their relationship tested by a proposed move to L.A.; Annie (Malin Akerman) suffers from a self-image problem and faces off against a true romantic in Sam #2 (Tony Hale); and an on-going interwoven story line involves Sam's character making an asinine decision when a young boy gets separated from his family on the subway.

    The best of the stories is Annie's. Suffering from an auto-immune disease which leaves her hairless, she has a real self-image problem in thinking that she is not worthy of love. On the ironic other hand, she is put off by the advances of nice guy Sam #2 because he isn't the physical specimen she had dreamed of. Akerman and Hale make these characters believable and we actually pull for them to figure it out.

    Kazan's Mary Catherine just had me hoping Charlie would slap her and take off to LA on his own. Kazan (granddaughter of the great director Elia Kazan) actually does a nice job capturing the suffering that so many females put themselves through. Kate Mara's Mississippi is the perky on the outside, defensive on the inside type who should probably never get mixed up with the self-centered mess that is Sam (Radnor). Still, Mara's talent is on full display (she first leaped off the screen in Brokeback Mountain as Heath Ledger's 19 yr old daughter).

    One thing the script reminds us is that this generation still believes the world revolves around their every decision. They have been a bit slow on the uptake here, but it makes for easy pickings in script writing. There are some terrific individual scenes, but some of the larger plot lines are not treated fairly or completely. Maybe Radnor tackled a bit too much for his first outing. Still, a decent effort and I look forward to more from him.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Happythankyoumoreplease (HTMP) is one of those independent films that you're dying to love. I wanted this movie to be good. I wanted to care about the characters. I wanted to feel like I'd just seen something comparable to Garden State or Beautiful Girls...a well made, well written, character-driven story. But no matter how hard I tried to make this movie good, it just didn't happen. And that's a shame, because there was definitely potential here. And there were even some scenes that worked pretty well...on their own. And therein lies the problem. Even though there were some shining moments, they were tucked into scenes that seemed to be sealed off to themselves. There was little coherency, and that, in part, had much to do with some very poor editing that didn't allow smooth transitioning between scenes. There was also some dialogue here, that was just plain bad. It almost seems as if Josh Radnor, when writing the screenplay, wanted to make sure he gave every character, lead or supporting, enough dialogue so he wouldn't make anyone angry. As a result, much of that dialogue is found within monologues that try their darnedest to sound slick and culturally relevant and cool, but really come off as disingenuous and false. And there was one story line in particular that, not only didn't seem realistic, but was somewhat disturbing. I know when Radnor's character sort of takes Rasheen under his wing, and becomes close to him while taking the boy back to his apartment, the audience was supposed to get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside (as was indicated by the, "'re my best friend" line). I didn't get that warm and fuzzy feeling inside mainly because I was too preoccupied with how illegal Sam's actions were. Touching as that relationship might have been, it was still kidnapping of a minor. And instead of taking this film down a more realistic avenue with that felonious crime in mind that, no doubt, would have inevitably darkened the film's mood, Radnor completely evades confronting that issue in favor of Sam going to jail in the same way someone driving on a revoked license would. And he gets bailed out? Are you fricking kidding me? This, as others have pointed out, rings the most false out of many unrealistic moments. One last point regarding dialogue, and I don't usually complain about profanity in movies. But when it appears that characters are uttering F-words just for the sake of uttering F-words, it doesn't make a film more slick and edgy. It just makes it seem desperate to want to be taken seriously as a movie for adults. Hopefully what we have here with HTMP, is a first time director/screenwriter who is learning as he goes, and ironing out the kinks. If that is the case, then perhaps it has done some good for Radnor as he sharpens up his skills as a movie maker. If that's not the case here, then Radnor better not quit his day job anytime soon.
  • tedg12 August 2011
    If you live the life in films that I do, you will be offended when a filmmaker takes his responsibilities lightly. That is what I felt when watching this.

    The writer of the thing has made himself the central character: a writer who has trouble producing a long form work and instead creates short stories.

    He (the filmmaker) thinks he can get away with giving us three small stories instead of a real film. The central precedent of course is Altman's 'Short Cuts' made into a subgenre by Anderson. But those men worked on a long form where characters and situations were simply split among several actors. What we have here is three half hour short stories about relationships.

    The irony of the thing is that there ate two folds referencing this inadequacy (seen as an acceptable narrative strategy). The first of course is the many references to the on-screen writer (and indeed all the male love interests) to work in long form.

    The second is a juvenile who plays mo role whatever except to produce amazing small artworks that we are supposed to accept as genuine art.

    I must admit that the craft is well executed. Sequences are tied by songs of the sort sung by one of the (supposedly endearing) characters. There are a lot of feel-good buttons pressed here and the . But the overall effect is that the filmmaker has a superficial understanding of love and story (which means love).

    Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Making the switch from actor/actress to director can be a very rewarding albeit a complex initiative. But many have pulled through like Ron Howard, Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood and Ben Affleck all have took the front of the camera prior to working behind the camera and made a wide success of accolades in the process. While it was natural that the people I identified were legends in the acting community, we have seen lesser prolific television stars following that certain path just to test newer waters. In 2004, "Scrubs" star Zach Braff directed the indie film "Garden State" and he was welcomed with open arms by both critics and fans alike as we saw a more serious side contrary to his more silly side that we scene on "Scrubs". In 2010 "How I Met Your Mother" alumnus Josh Radnor took it upon himself to follow the same path in the indie comedy-drama "Happythankyoumoreplease".

    In this movie, Radnor stars as Sam Wexler, an author of short-story novellas who lives in New York City. As he was riding the subway to meet with a publisher, he spots a foster child who refuses to follow his family home. The boy named Rasheen (Michael Algieri) explains why he refuses to be with them, so Sam agrees he could stay at his home. He even invites him to a party thrown by his confidant, Annie (Malin Akerman) who is suffering from Alopecia which is making her go bald. Annie's love life has been rough due to one bad relationship after another and tries to avoid the passes from a colleague also named Sam (Tony Hale) who has a profound interest in her. There, Sam is met by an old friend, Mary Catherine (Zoe Kazan) who is at a crossroads with her boyfriend Charlie (Pablo Schreiber). Charlie wants to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and that he wants her to come with him. However, she refuses because NYC was where she has lived all her life and fears living elsewhere will make her feel alienated.

    Though it his first directing gig, Radnor decided to go for the more slice-of-life plot rather than the more whimsical or spontaneous stories that would gravitate to more viewers. Instead we focus on real characters faced with tough situations that many young adults go through in real life. The whole "slice-of-life" stories seem to be commonplace for indie and made for television fare like on The Hallmark channel, so it seems Radnor has decided to make this type of genre his home. And even though it might not be everyone's cup of tea, movies of this calibre is actually quite complex especially when trying to keep everything real. Though the movie itself may have a positive message in the end, there are quite a lot of flaws that need to be looked at.

    The biggest mistake comes right from the opening minutes coming into this movie. We see Sam arbitrarily take this kid to his apartment as a house guest just like that. I mean are you that gullible? He makes a poor efforted police report and then just brings him into his place without realizing there might be serious repercussions behind that. I mean sure he might be book smart being that he's a writer and that he's educated and all that. But to think he's living in New York City he should also have been street smart to realize that what he did was unintentional kidnapping. Sorry but that doesn't quite sit well. I get that it's a work a fiction and that Sam's intentions were good and that the chemistry between Sam and Rasheen is what carries the narrative of the movie, But it questions his motives as they come off as irresponsible and foolhardy as we await the moment to see Sam get busted, even though we don't want see it happens as he comes off as a caring individual, though cynical in nature.

    When you have a trifecta of subplots happening at the same time, people tend to evaluate the different fragments rather than just scoring the whole movie all together. To be honest I really couldn't care less about the Mary Catherine and Charlie story. I never understood all the conflict between New York City and Los Angeles debacle. It's convoluted and been done to death time after time again. The best subplot by far has to do with Annie's story. Not because of her rare condition, but because her character seems to be a very well developed character and her affection towards Sam# 2 comes off as sweet and charming. In spite of Sam coming off as a person letting a child stay at his place against his better judgement, he still comes across as a boring, pathetic individual we have seen in other movies before.

    Even though "How I Met Your Mother" is a classic sitcom comedy, Radnor's character Ted Mosby to be the weakest of the main characters on that show. I didn't go into this movie with high expectations to begin with. But to be fair, there a is lot of promise if Radnor wants to continue the path of directing future movies. In some areas, Radnor went for a more subtle and nuanced direction and then in other directions he goes off kilter. Many scenes tend to come off as flat, but the last 15 minutes into the climax is when everything just comes together and the significance of the strange title of this movie begins to make perfect sense. Unfortunately, this "slice-of-life" story missed the boat here due to some areas that were hit and miss. But because it wasn't a terrible movie, I hope Radnor continues his efforts to make better movies in the future.
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