Director: Jared Stern
Writer: Jared Stern
Starring: Noël Wells, Ben Schwartz, Rahul Kohli, Kristen Bauer van Straten, Kate Berlant, Leonardo Nam, David Walton, Isidora Goreshter, Annie Potts, and Joe Pantoliano
In Happy Anniversary, Mollie (Noël Wells) and Sam (Ben Schwartz) are celebrating their third anniversary of being together, while also struggling with the future of their relationship. Mollie isn’t happy anymore and doesn’t want to waste more time with Sam if he’s not the one, while Sam is convinced that she is the love of his life.
Even though this is about a relationship that is going through a real rough patch, with a chance that it’s not going to end well, this is still a good comedy. It’s not a laugh a minute, but when there’s a joke it always lands. Writer and director Jared Stern has done a great job in making a romantic comedy that’s funny while still having incredibly emotional moments. It would be nicer if there were more jokes throughout, but it’s still funny.
Sam and Mollie are instantly likable thanks to Noël Wells and Ben Schwartz, who are both great and charming in their roles. The rest of the cast is also great, especially Rahul Kohli, who doesn’t appear that much but always gets a big laugh whenever he does.
The idea of a relationship in trouble is far from original, and while the characters are great, the comedy works, and it’s entertaining there’s nothing about it that really stays with you afterwards. It’s not bad, but there’s no moments that are truly spectacular or memorable. If it wasn’t for the great lead characters, the whole thing would fall flat.
Happy Anniversary succeeds in taking a tried and tested formula and still making it entertaining by adding a more modern and grounded sense of humour and a more realistic portrayal of a relationship that is struggling with commitment.
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