Rated R for language, 100 minutes
Quirky dramedy "happy..." too familiar
Quirky independent dramedies about the travails of New York City professionals have been quite common since the TV show "Friends" popularized it back in the 1990's. Scores of TV shows and movie utilize the same theme, and the offbeat, indepedently-made "happythankyoumoreplease" is no different. It's not terrible, just terribly unoriginal; there are some engaging, fun moments, but the annoying, faux-cool predictability of it all (hence the run-on title of the film) makes it an empty shell of a movie.
The film centers on Sam ("How I Met Your Mother's" Josh Radnor) and Rasheen (Micheal Algieri), a writer and foster care child who meet when Rasheen is abandoned on the subway. Through his story we learn of Sam's best friend Annie (Malin Akerman), an Alopecia patient trying to find a reason to be loved, his cousin Mary Catherine (Zoe Kazan) and her boyfriend Charlie (Pablo Schreiber), a couple facing the prospect of leaving New York, and Mississippi (Kate Mara), a struggling waitress/singer Sam meets and romances.
"happythankyoumoreplease" is a charming, low-budget but unmemorable dramedy with shades of so many other TV shows and films. Josh Radnor, the star of TV's "How I Met Your Mother," stars, directs and writes his first feature film, though the film really seems to be an extension of his TV show character, a nebbish, eccentric mensch and writer and his relationship with an orphan kid. It's unfortunate that Radnor, the star of the film, has a certain blandness that makes the contrivances of the film seem even more unbelievable (a girl named Mississippi, really?).
There are overlapping subplots, most of which we don't care about, the most memorable belonging to the pretty but unrecognizable Akerman, playing against type as Sam's best friend, a troubled, hairless girl with relationship issues (and who inspires the film's unusual title). Otherwise, most of it's a bit disappointing in a TV-movieish way; Radnor's labor of love isn't completely lost though. He has a good ear for dialogue, he's a serviceable director (but as many first-time directors do, he relies too much on standard close-ups) and the soundtrack is filled with some pleasant, folksy tunes.
If you seen "Friends," you've seen this one too. As a matter of fact, this could be called "The One You Won't Remember."
Wes's Grade: C+