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HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS

"Marred by Too Much Foul Language and a Few Other Issues"

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What You Need To Know:

HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS is a Netflix romantic comedy about the adventures of a woman named Helen who’s newly divorced, uptight and joyless. She takes a two-week hiking trip in rural Connecticut to rediscover her joy and ponder her life’s next chapter. Helen wants solitude, but her goofy younger brother’s best friend, who’s long had a crush on her, joins the hike without her knowledge after he hears she’s going. They hike and bond amid a colorful, funny, occasionally touching group of fellow hikers. Eventually, they learn that living life alone rather than supporting others is not the right path in life.

HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS features a wonderful cast and extremely well-drawn supporting characters that the audience laughs with and finds emotionally relatable. The scenery is gorgeous, the soundtrack is superb, and Writer/Director Vicky Wight is a filmmaker to watch. The story and characters are mostly innocent and kind, but the dialogue has too much foul language, including many light profanities. Also, the wacky hike leader leads a prayer to Mother Nature, and one character is a homosexual. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.

Content:

(Pa, Ro, B, FR, ACap, Ho, LLL, V, S, AA, M)

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Mixed pagan worldview with Romantic and moral elements,

Foul Language:
18 obscenities and 13 light profanities

Violence:
Character falls through a rotten log and breaks his leg and then passes out when he hits his head; some verbal references to past violence; the lead character develops a bloody blister on her heel and cuts her forearm badly on a sharp rock, but it’s not shown in a graphic way

Sex:
One side male character is a homosexual and says he finds another man attractive, and a man and woman kiss passionately

Alcohol Use:
A groom is drunk at a wedding and makes a foolish spectacle of himself

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Female lead is divorced.

More Detail:

HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS is a Netflix romantic comedy-drama that follows the adventures of a woman named Helen, who is newly divorced, uptight and joyless. She decides to take a two-week hiking trip in rural Connecticut to find her joy again and be introspective about her life’s next chapter.

While Helen wants solitude, her goofy younger brother’s best friend Jake, who’s long had a crush on her, joins the hike without her knowledge after he hears she’s going. This does NOT please Helen at all, but she starts realizing he’s good-looking, kind and an intelligent doctor.

The rest of the group is composed of well-drawn and acted characters, including Hugh, a chubby homosexual who has some of the funniest moments in the movie. There’s also Windy, a young woman who’s openly attracted to Jake and starts to annoy Helen with her gushing displays. Kaylee is a seeming airheaded millennial who says ridiculous things but is secretly smart with finance and a successful day trader. Meanwhile, Mason is a conceited, hunky Wall Street guy who seems to care about nothing but walking as quickly as possible.

There’s also another young woman who says she’s taken a vow of silence for the trip but can’t keep from shrieking in frustration or blabbing as much as everyone else. Finally, Beckett is the tour guide who’s clean-cut but talks like an environmentalist hippie. The movie portrays him comically, although he prays to “mother nature” at one point and makes the confused group bow their heads.

Each of these people has a deeper burning desire for their lives that are revealed at touching moments that thankfully aren’t cloying or saccharine. The funny lines are frequent, the scenery is gorgeous, the music score is inventively country-oriented, and Writer-Director Vicky Wight brings it all together into a very satisfying package that’s both entertaining and inspirational. Eventually, Helen and the other hikers in HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS learn that living life alone rather than supporting others is not the right path in life.

The story and characters are mostly innocent and kind in HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS, but but it has lots of foul language, including many light profanities, and references to Mother Nature and a homosexual character. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution.


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