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Not Another Happy Ending (2014) - Quirky British Comedy Sparkles

Jane Lockhart (Karen Gillan) has a problem. Rejection after rejection arrives in her inbox for her debut novel. A book she wrote from an emotional, depressed point of view. But today that’s about to change. 

Not Another Happy Ending

A small – and struggling, publishing house run by Tom Duval (Stanley Weber) is buying her novel. It needs work, he says but he’s going to publish it. A two book deal is signed and Jane’s novel becomes an overnight success. A success that has been edited to suit a certain audience. You see Tom has changed the title to Happy Ending. In the ensuing conflict, Jane ends their friendship (a relationship that grew during their close working relationship), and by proxy, their professional relationship once book two is launched.  

Following the success of her debut novel, she begins dating a playwright (who also happens to be adapting the Happy Ending screenplay), and all seems right in Jane’s world. Mere pages away from completing her second novel, Jane’s binge baking habits return. That’s right she’s hit writer’s block. It would seem happiness doesn’t suit Jane.  
Not Another Happy Ending

Anything with Karen Gillian very nearly guarantees I’ll see it. Of course, there would be limits, but a unique romantic-comedy does not fall within those parameters. This particular film has a… unique set of circumstances (plus was filmed in Scotland; accents intact!), which means the comedy is “different” than we’re used to. British comedies do tend to march to their own beat. This film does the same. But, I cannot help but adore every little thing about it. My mom and I watched it, and while she didn’t have the same reaction as I did (she probably won’t care if she ever sees it again), I found this film just as entertaining as I hoped it would be.  

What I liked most about this script is that it’s not a typical romantic-comedy – certainly not a cookie-cutter format. The writer (this is based off a book of the same name) is unafraid to find some nooks that might not usually be investigated in the genre, and somehow still finds a way to be conventional in all the ways that make us love this genre. Jane’s character is an interesting one who is easy to relate too because she’s a bookish, quiet sort of girl. Nonetheless scars from her past cling to her, which transitions into her adult relationships.  

If you have an inclination towards British comedy, this film is going to be your cup of tea. It’s smart and unafraid to color outside the lines. An Indie film that ensembles a fantastic cast (fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will adore seeing Fitz in this) and though the ending works up to being a little “out of the box strange,” it does fit with the theme of the film. Another (small) flaw in the ending is the fact that it’s not 100% convincing in that Jane has learned much of anything – or anyone else for that matter. She does reach a breaking point and has that need-to-be-alone sequence, but by the time the credits roll, there is no feeling of completion for these characters. It leaves off back where it started which does lessen the impact some. Though to be fair, it's all in keeping true to the "style" of the movie, something that's more humor-laced than anything that resonates, subliminal or otherwise.

Not Another Happy Ending

Flaws and all, I do love this film. It’s the definition of a British Indie comedy and seems to relish keeping the laughs coming. Even still, this isn’t without its poignant scenes involving a father and daughter or in Jane’s struggle to reconcile her past for a chance at a healthier future (which is noble). It helps that the humor is darn awesome. If you like things that are quirky (one example being Jane's talks with her heroine) as opposed to ordinary, you might be happy to have discovered the anything-but-ordinary, unique brand of happiness in Not Another Happy Ending.

(Played for laughs, there's a scene of Jane writing naked. Someone shows up at her house, which inspires the scene to be prolonged - the camera shows side and back nudity during the scene. There is some innuendo - and Jane lives with her boyfriend [we see them making out and taking each other's clothes off before the scene cuts]. Profanity (and crudities) including some British slang are peppered throughout the film. The film rates PG13.)
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  1. Nice review Rissi! I saw your review yesterday, and then found the movie on Netflix so we watched it. I don't think I liked it as much as you did -- I liked it but wouldn't care to see it again -- but it definitely was worth watching for Karen Gillan and Iain De Caestecker (actually I may have enjoyed his character the most). The only thing that really bothered me was how whenever Jane and Tom are getting along (until the very end) we never get to hear them, but it's just a musical montage. It felt like they were skipping over the best parts. It's a small thing, but anyway... It was a cute flick so thanks for the review and recommendation! :)

    1. Thanks for reading, Sarah. I'm glad you were able to watch and enjoy Not Another Happy Ending. Having Karen in the lead role was a huge motivator for me and yes, I agree! Iain was fantastic - I loved his character too and just didn't mention him much).

      I hear you. I usually like those sequences because it shows time passing and too often it doesn't seem like a couple gets enough of that to be genuinely in love. That being said, you're right. They didn't develop enough of them prior to that.

      I'm glad you enjoyed it for a one-time new movie! My mom probably felt the same as you. She liked it okay, but probably won't watch it again. :)

  2. Oh my gosh! I might just have to watch this ... just to see Iain de Caestecker somewhere other than SHIELD :)

    dance a real

    1. It's totally worth seeing just for Iain, Hannah! He's the "funny character" and he does a great job. :)

  3. Filmed in Scotland? I'm sold! I love British movies, and typially love their quirky humor. ;)

    1. I normally do as well, Heather - it's different than American humor, but that's what makes it so fabulous! :)

  4. I've been meaning to try this one. I'm a huge fan of hers since Selfie.

    1. It's really cute in a quirky sort of way. I'd love to know what you think if/when you do see it. :)

  5. A friend of mine recommended this movie to me last night and the first thing I did this morning was come to your blog and search for it haha
    It looks cute! British films, Scottish accents...can't get better than that haha I'm gonna look up the trailer. And hopefully see the movie soon.

    1. How fun! I hope you like it if/when you do watch it, Raquel. It's really quite cute and the cast is fabulous, as one would expect from Karen Gillan. :D


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