Summer Sale Extended! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
The Baltimore Sun

Movie review: 'Happythankyoumoreplease'

**1/2 (out of four)

 

Bummed that he can’t sell his novel, almost 30-year-old short-story-writer Sam (writer-director Josh Radnor of “How I Met Your Mother”) temporarily adopts Rasheen (Michael Algieri), a young boy (and cheap script device) from an unhappy foster home who gets lost on the subway. That’s only the beginning of the emotional pile-up: Sam romances a waitress/singer who goes by the name Mississippi (Kate Mara); Sam’s best friend Annie (Malin Ackerman) confronts alopecia and a bald suitor (Tony Hale); and Sam’s old pal, Mary-Catherine (Zoe Kazan), suspects her boyfriend (Pablo Schreiber) wants to move from New York to L.A.

The buzz: Where have we heard this before: The star of a popular TV comedy makes his first movie, in which he also stars, set to moody indie rock and focused on misguided folks in their late 20s trying to, at long last, grow up? Please, Josh Radnor, don’t turn into Zach Braff (“Garden State”).

The verdict: Radnor has a knack for dialogue. Sometimes. Other times he gets lost in his own navel-gazing, struggling to find his way in a mostly earnest, occasionally ironic film about people lacking direction, ambition and, for the most part, anything actually standing in their way. Radnor’s characters are heavily self-interested, which is perhaps a fair representation of people constantly processing their lives until they get anything figured out. Yet “Happythankyoumoreplease,” which contains a lot more talk than action, reflects a romantic/shallow view of happiness and clarity (just have it!) muddled by a refusal to really chip away at situations that neither click separately or as a unit. In other words, it’s your typical first movie from a potentially promising filmmaker: Not bad but not quite there.

Did you know? To make Rasheen sleep, Sam puts on Leonard Cohen and the kid’s out immediately. Insult to the legendary singer or, you know, a good idea?

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Fridays at 7 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Worst new movies

    Worst new movies

    The recent awfulness we've seen, like 'No Escape,' 'Zipper,' 'Mistress America,' zero-star 'Fantastic Four,' 'Vacation,' 'Pixels,' 'The Gallows,' 'Terminator Genisys,' 'Entourage,' 'Aloft,' 'Aloha,' 'Pitch Perfect 2,' 'Hot Pursuit,' 'The D Train,' 'The Squeeze,' 'The Longest Ride,' 'Get Hard,'...

  • Best new movies

    Best new movies

    Reviews of recent favorites like 'We Are Your Friends,' 'Digging for Fire,' 'Straight Outta Compton,' 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,' 'The End of the Tour,' 'The Gift, 'Ricki and the Flash,' 'Mission: Impossible--Rogue Nation,' 'Ant-Man,' 'Amy,' 'Magic Mike XXL,' 'The Overnight,' 'Me and Earl and the...

  • Good movies to rent now

    Good movies to rent now

    See what recent DVD releases are worth your time and money. Don't rent? Check out the newest movies to stream here.Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page. 

  • Hot Hollywood interviews

    Hot Hollywood interviews

    The most memorable quotes from our latest movie Q&As, including Zac Efron/Emily Ratajjkowski/Max Joseph, Sam Elliott, Ice Cube/O'Shea Jackson Jr., F. Gary Gray/Jason Mitchell, Jason Segel, Joel Edgerton, Cobie Smulders, Amy Schumer, Vanessa Bayer, Mike Birbiglia, Colin Quinn/Dave Attell, Jada Pinkett...

  • Baltimore's Vagabond Players still going strong 100 years after launch

    Baltimore's Vagabond Players still going strong 100 years after launch

    Maybe it was something in the water — or maybe just that it was finally safe to drink after years of a dicey supply system. Whatever the cause, something sure started affecting a lot of culturally minded folks a century ago in Baltimore.

  • Trauma training aims to help city employees in dealing with public

    Trauma training aims to help city employees in dealing with public

    Stanley Smith has spent nearly four decades helping troubled young people earn GEDs and get jobs, but he learned something new this week that he thinks will help him do his job even better.

Comments
Loading
81°