Happy Face [Film]

 

“Estranged from his manipulative cancer-stricken mother, Stan, a quixotic 19-year-old, dons a disguise and joins a therapy workshop for disfigured patients in a misguided attempt to reconnect with her. But when his deception is revealed, Stan, who is desperate to gain coping skills to care for his disease-ravaged mother, offers the afflicted patients a bargain: he stays with the group, and in exchange he teaches them how feel good about themselves : by using their “ugliness” as a weapon against our beauty-obsessed culture.” – October Coast PR

 

******

By synopsis and just general film normalcies, there are a lot of obvious events and emotional responses that you can expect to see and have whilst watching Happy Face. And it’s for good reason. At its core, the film is almost exactly what you think it is going to be. If you are a cryer during films, you will cry tears of both joy and sadness. You will feel that heart-warming sense of joy for character accomplishments. But….there’s always a “but”, right? Another aspect of the film, which may be obvious to some folks, is the very dark sensibility and humor that is encompassed in this film. The film does not seek to sedate you with clouded misery, nor does it yearn to uplift your spirits to an immeasurable height. It short, the film is more truthful than that. It’s a dichotomy between knowing oneself & being proud of who you are, and understanding that sometimes the world is absolute bullshit. The idea that good things always come to good people is absolute trash and should not be believed. Instead, find your joy in the world, accept that painful things will happen, and life will pass you by and you can then die hoping that you have more fond memories that dark ones. Dare I say, put on a “Happy Face”, and keep moving through this world!

Anyway, off my proverbial soap box, I would still declare that Happy Face is an exceptional film, and one of my favorites of 2021 thus far. Filmmaker and co-screenwriter Alexandre Franchi brings an absolutely beautiful story that is powerful, a bit shocking at times, and most importantly, true to itself and the message that is being conveyed.

 

 

Leading man Robin L’Houmeau turns out a tremendous performance that is deserving of all the adoration that an actor if his ilk should receive. I can not overstate that enough. His performance in Happy Face is undeniably great. But (there’s that “but” again) I have to say that it is the ladies of the film that truly worked their magic in this film. Debbie Lynch-White plays a tough yet nurturing and frightened character in such a way that I have never seen before. And Alison Midstokke was probably the one give me the most feels and laughs throughout the film. Truly two incredible performances amongst a sea of amazing performances. To include first time performer David Roche who lit up the screen with every moment he was on screen.

Seriously, Folks, you are going to want to check this one out. You will not regret it. Keep the tissues close and your mind open.

 

Happy Face is available now, streaming just about everywhere including iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu,  Direct TV, Dish Network and all major cable providers.

 

 

About rontrembathiii
write. write. write.

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