The Trouble with Bliss Reviews
"The Trouble with Bliss" is a grown up coming of age story, nothing new storyline wise for sure, but this is odd, funny, not 100% coherent and logic, but yet mesmerising somehow. Michael C. Hallīs loser Morris ends up in maybe things and situations that I might not fully buy, but due to great acting from the ensemble it still works. The idea of being stuck in dreams/hopes and not being able to take action is something we all can relate to. We might need that little extra push from fate that puts us in the right direction like in Morris case and the catalyst in the shape of the cute Stephanie (a great and stunning Brie Larson). Maybe not a logic situation/storyline, but in Hollywood anything can happen. And the same goes for Morris interaction with his neighbor Andrea (Lucy Liu). But, the side story that makes no sense at all in my book is the one between NJ (Chris Messina) and Hattie Skunk/Hattie Rockworth (Sarah Shahi). Itīs just one big question mark for me, even if it was nice to see a radiant Sarah Shahi. "The Trouble with Bliss" stood out despite its flaws and it entertained me through the running time.
"The Trouble with Bliss" is a fine starting place with a cool cast that also includes Sarah Shahi and Lucy Liu, of which Peter Fonda and Brie Larson fare the best to nobody's surprise. And it's nice that it references Forbidden Planet(the store, not the movie) and Homage to Catalonia. But that's it. I mean, overall the movie is as listless and lacking in ambition as its title character and that's no fun at all for anybody.
This is a quirky little film, but I really enjoyed it. Story does go off a little at times, but it's mostly good with excellent cast and likeable or interesting characters.
The Trouble With Bliss is an underrated story in that it's one of those works that isn't spoon-fed to viewers. Audiences think they know everything about Morris' blissfully (get the title now?) ignorant lifestyle through most of the movie. But it isn't until the story's end that viewers discover that instead of living in bliss, he has been living in denial all along. That denial is centered in his relationship-or lack thereof-with his father (played by Peter Fonda). He isn't stuck at home with his father. He has made the choice to live there. It can be argued in understanding this and looking back at the story that it is his mother not being there that has led Morris to be living with his father at thirty-five years old and dating an eighteen-year old. Having only had his father for parental guidance through his youth, that was all that Morris ever knew. So it became his comfort zone. Understanding this makes Morris something of an underdog type of figure; a sympathetic character so to speak. He becomes a figure that audiences might not have rooted for had they not had this knowledge. What really makes his an underdog figure in hindsight is why his mother is not in the picture. That reveal in the story's final minutes is perhaps the culmination of everything that audiences experienced leading up to that point.
Some audiences might ask if this is the case, why he started acting as an adult before that moment. The answer is that what happened as a result of his interactions with Stephanie and Andrea was just the catalyst that he had needed to start realizing and growing as a person. His whole life up until that point was ignorant bliss. Finally having been faced with a situation that forced him out of his comfort zone, it acted as a kick in the pants so to speak. That eventually lead to the deepest center of what had led to his first introduction to audiences. The result is that it leads to hindsight among audiences and in turn will lead them to see he's really quite the underdog character. And in understanding all of this one can only hope that those who criticized the movie will take all of this hindsight and give the movie a second chance and see it for the underrated and underappreciated work that it is.