"Too Much Quirk"
What You Need To Know:
H IS FOR HAPPINESS starts off promising with themes of a carefree childhood but then gets too weird. The movie has a strong Romantic worldview where imagination, wishful thinking and dreaming of a better future reign supreme. There are some moral elements including reconciliation and friendship. However, H IS FOR HAPPINESS also contains some random lewd content, a drug reference and light foul and vulgar language. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for mature viewers.
H IS FOR HAPPINESS is a quirky independent movie that follows a 12-year-old girl as she befriends a new boy in her class and tries to heal her family after grief and conflict. H IS FOR HAPPINESS has a promising start but then gets too weird and has a strong Romantic worldview featuring wishful thinking, some random lewd content, a drug reference, and light foul and vulgar language.
Candice Phee is an imaginative 12-year-old with lots of pep in her step. In her spare time, Candice enjoys reading the dictionary and spending time with her Rich Uncle Brian along the Australian coast. However, Candice’s family is estranged. Her father and Rich Uncle Brian had a falling out over a business deal and no longer speak. Also, Candice’s baby sister, Sky, died in her sleep about a year ago, and her mother is still heartbroken. For obvious reasons, Sky’s death put a strain on Candice’s parent’s marriage.
Still, Candice won’t let her family troubles get her down.
One day at school, Candice meets a new boy, Douglas Benson, in her class who she calls Douglas Benson from Another Dimension, because he claims to be from another dimension. The two eventually become thick and even develop a romance.
Meanwhile, Candice’s 13th birthday looms, and she’s sour that she’s not developing like the other girls in her class until Douglas gives her a present – inflatable breasts made of blow-up beach balls. She hatches a plan to hop into the water on a dock during her birthday in hopes that Rich Uncle Brian and her father will jump into the water to rescue her, since she can’t swim. Her plan almost works, and she uses the beach balls on her chest to push herself out of the depths of the water, but the two estranged brothers literally bump heads in the process. Candice’s plan is an utter flop.
To add to Candice’s family frustrations, it seems as though her mother is no closer to moving on from Sky’s death. This puts a rift in Candice’s hopes to have a happy life.
One day, Douglas jumps from a large tree thinking he will be transported back into “his dimension,” only to wind up in the hospital. Thankfully, Douglas is okay, but it’s clear from his mother that this isn’t new behavior for him, and that’s why she’s so protective over who he befriends. Consequently, his mother is grateful for Candice.
The movie concludes as Candice and her classmates put together a skit about the alphabet and what letters represent various characteristics in life.
H IS FOR HAPPINESS starts off promising with themes of a carefree childhood but then gets weird. Think of a Wes Anderson movie like THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL or MOONRISE KINGDOM. H IS FOR HAPPINESS functions similarly with vibrant colors and child actors who have likeable characteristics but often take on matters that adults should work out themselves. Also, the movie’s sound sometimes seems a bit distant.
H IS FOR HAPPINESS has a strong Romantic worldview where imagination, wishful thinking and dreaming of a better future reign supreme. There are some moral elements including reconciliation and friendship. However, H IS FOR HAPPINESS also has some random lewd content, a drug reference and some light foul and vulgar language. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for mature viewers.
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