"L.A. Is for Dreamers"
What You Need To Know:
Stylistically, the stellar lights, cartoon animation and melodic Philharmonic orchestra in HAPPIER THAN EVER make for a satisfying experience. The movie contains some light moral, redemptive content about treating other people with respect, the value of life, the importance of gratitude, and the fleeting nature of fame. However, HAPPIER THAN EVER has a strong, dominant Romantic worldview where Billie Ellish focuses on her appreciation for how Los Angeles shaped her dreams and her reality. Also, there’s one song lyric about doing things God doesn’t like. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution because of the obscenities, suggestive lyrics and Non-Christian elements in HAPPIER THAN EVER.
Streaming on Disney Plus, HAPPIER THAN EVER: A LOVE LETTER TO LOS ANGELES centers on pop star Billie Ellish as she sings a range of her songs from her “Happier Than Ever” album at the renowned Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. Stylistically, the stellar lights, cartoon animation and melodic Philharmonic orchestra in HAPPIER THAN EVER make for a unique, satisfying experience that includes some light moral, redemptive content, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for some obscenities, occasional suggestive lyrics and a song lyric during the movie about enjoying doing things God doesn’t like.
The concert movie begins with pop star Billie Ellish in cartoon form as she leaves a movie studio lot and then goes to the Hollywood Bowl, an iconic concert venue in the heart of Hollywood. Billie switches to her real person self and begins singing a range of her musical catalog. She welcomes the audience and introduces the LA Philharmonic Orchestra, who will help Conductor Finneas O’Connell with the music as the movie continues.
In between songs, Billie’s cartoon character drives the streets of L.A. and views other major landmarks to set up her next song at the Hollywood Bowl. It’s clear from Billie’s catalog and her cartoon character that the movie serves as an introspective take on her identity and how Los Angeles shaped the young Grammy-nominated singer into the person she is today. In fact, Billie says as much in the movie.
For instance, at one point in the movie, Billie brings a choir on stage to help her sing a song, “Goldwing,” and it’s the same choir Billie participated in when she went to school. Billie sings other popular songs like “Overheated” and “I Think Therefore I Am” and ends the 66-minute movie with “Happier Than Ever” and “Male Fantasy” as her cartoon character watches from the audience.
HAPPIER THAN EVER: A LOVE LETTER TO LOS ANGELES mirrors the tone of Taylor Swift’s documentary, FOLKLORE: THE LONG POND STUDIO SESSIONS that also premiered on Disney+. Aside from the innovative animation, however, it’s curious as to why the movie is on Disney+. HAPPIER THAN EVER will entertain fans of Billie Ellish, but likely, not many other people who are less familiar with Billie’s catalog or brand of music. Stylistically, though, the stellar lights, cartoon animation and melodic Philharmonic orchestra culminate to make HAPPIER THAN EVER an unique, satisfying experience.
HAPPIER THAN EVER has a strong Romantic worldview where the singer appreciates and ponders how the city of Los Angeles has shaped her dreams and her reality. There are a few subtle Christian and moral elements about treating others with respect and not judging them based on appearance. The movie also discusses the value of life, the importance of gratitude and a realization that fame is fleeting. It also contains a positive mention of Heaven. However, there’s one Anti-Christian, anti-biblical song lyric about enjoying doing things God doesn’t like. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution because of the obscenities, suggestive lyrics and non-Christian elements in HAPPIER THAN EVER.