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Happy, Happy (2011)

tomatometer

72

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.

audience

62

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 746

My Rating

Movie Info

Family is the most important thing in the world to Kaja. She is an eternal optimist in spite of living with a man who would rather go hunting with the boys and isn't interested in having sex with her anymore because she "isn't particularly attractive." Whatever. That's life. But when "the perfect couple" moves in next door, Kaja struggles to keep her emotions in check. Not only do these successful, beautiful, exciting people sing in a choir, they have also adopted a child - from Ethiopia! These

Jan 24, 2012

$44.9k

Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (48) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (7) | DVD (2)

Sewitsky is a bit too fond of the handheld camera, but she is immediate, close. Her first picture, daring title and all, takes an empathic look at a permanent puzzle.

June 19, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A thoughtful, nicely played melodrama, bordering on patronising in its depiction of rural folk, but staying on the right side of the line - thanks to sympathetic performances.

November 13, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The curdled Norwegian comedy-drama "Happy, Happy," which dissects a pair of poisoned marriages, is sometimes heavy-handed (like its title) but has much to recommend it.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sewitsky aims for quirky humanism along the lines of Finland's Aki Kaurismaki; she's helped along considerably by Kittelsen's sunny performance, though the film crosses over into Scandinavian kitsch with a series of country-swing interludes.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is short and intense enough that it always seems on track, even if the train goes nowhere.

October 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Happy, Happy" has the makings of a Norwegian "Ice Storm," but it goes out with a whimper.

October 7, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Good-natured Norwegian culture-clash comedy between city folks and their new small-town neighbours.

November 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Scotsman
Scotsman

Like its heroine, the story never dwells on the heartbreak, delivering plenty of wry smiles and surprises as the four adults are forced to confront all the glaring problems in their marriages.

November 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

While highlighting the messier side of human interaction, this Norwegian black comedy blends snappy wit and romantic farce to keep us entertained even when things get rather dark.

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source: Contactmusic.com
Contactmusic.com

The whole is thought-provoking and funny.

November 16, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Darkly comic and surprisingly touching in equal measure.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Happy, Happy starts out cartoonish and ends up oddly endearing.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

I grinned a grin glazed with pure discomfort - which is, of course, the whole idea.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Sweet but never saccharine, Happy Happy is as delicate as Kaja and just as endearing.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Succeeds thanks to winning performances, assured direction and a sharply observed script, though it's slightly let down by a dodgy sub-plot.

November 15, 2012 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

With something to relate to in everyone, Happy, Happy is a fun dose of laughter, excitement and spontaneity with added hidden layers that is more than a little infectious.

October 5, 2012 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys
HeyUGuys

Like The Kids Are All Right and infinite Woody Allen films before it, Happy Happy is a charming little picture that, despite being over-sentimental at times, is human enough to be considered a valuable gem.

December 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Quickflix
Quickflix

The human follies abound: Running naked in the Norwegian snow, a couple of foolish affairs, a boy who wants to be a modern slave master.

November 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Ironic dramedy about couples finding happiness through self-respect.

November 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Happy, Happy is the catharsis for anyone who's had a romance go south.

October 21, 2011 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Happy, Happy

An attempt at quirkiness...kind of failed. The movie itself wasn't bad, but it just seemed pointless. Apparently, someone suggested add some guys that sing a little diddy every so often, and people will love it, and say it is quirky. Nope...
March 13, 2013
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

'Happy, Happy'. The relationships, and the twists and turns they took got a little too far fetched for me, but loved the awkward, and unnecessarily racist humour.

I wonder how all the jokes in the scenes involving kids would go down in The States :O
June 10, 2011
c0up
c0up  

Super Reviewer

In "Happy, Happy," Elisabeth(Maibritt Saerens), a lawyer, and Sigve(Henrik Rafaelsen) move with their adopted son Noa(Ram Shihab Ebedy) to a small town for a fresh start after Elisabeth's marital indiscretion. Aside from their volunteering for the local choir, they are warmly welcomed by neighbors Kaja(Agnes Kittelsen) and Eirik(Joachim Rafaelsen) who invite them over for game night. Then, Elisabeth and Sigve reciprocate in a night that soon turns confessional before Kaja gives Sigve a blow job.

You know you're in deep trouble as a non-musical film if the best part is the music, especially in the case of "Happy, "Happy" where the entertaining interludes performed by a quartet prove to be about the only reasons to watch this very murky film. Otherwise, it takes forever for the slim plot to kick in, as the movie without a true point of view is unsure of whether or not it is a comedy. To be honest, it is possible something got lost in translation or I didn't understand some Scandinavian cultural attitudes. That still can't explain the weird interaction between the boys which goes far beyond bullying.
February 21, 2013
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Kaja (Agnes Kittlesen) may not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but she is a delightful hausfrau who only wants to know that she is valued and loved. Her husband, Eirik (Joachim Rafaelsen), is a brute of a man, who dismisses her desires and aspirations and is raising his son to be just like him. So when the perfect couple, Sigve (Henrik Rafaelsen) and Elisabeth (Maibritt Saerens) move in next door with their adopted son, Kaja begins to understand just how bleak her life is. As events unfold, we see that there is a definite emotional train wreck in everyone's future, and those affected are powerless to avoid the looming disaster. Secrets, however, have a way of revealing themselves and although this viewer found the situation uncomfortable to watch, he could not tear himself away, either. Kaja comes off as a much stronger, more aware and resilient creature than the opening scenes would have us believe. By the end, we know that she will survive. Not only that, but the way is now open for her to thrive.
January 4, 2013
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Happy Happy (Sykt Lykkelig) (DE)
  • Happy Happy (UK)
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