HappyThankyYouMorePlease begins with the staple mark of almost every Indy/student/amateur film, someone getting up from bed after a one-night-stand. Lo-and-behold the movie is about one of the two people involved in the previous night’s rump-a-hump and he happens to be late for a meeting. HappyThankyYouMorePlease is not very different from any other American Indy film, a style that has matured into its own genre, but it highlights all the reasons why I love American Indy. It is genre that makes you smile because you recognize yourself or a friend in every character and situation within the film.
The guy who was late for the meeting is Sam; played by Josh Randor (AKA Ted from How I Met Your Mother) who also wrote and directed the film. Sam is a writer, or is trying to be one, whose great shame is that he is a suburban kid with good parents. The meeting he is late for is with his publicist, who is about to reject his first novel. On the way to the meeting, while on the subway, Sam sees a black kid (Michael Algeiri) get separated from his family. He plays the Good Samaritan and tries to help out despite the fact that he is already late.
Sam tries to get the kid to the police, or child services but the child refuses to go anywhere. So Sam takes him to the meeting, and later to a friend’s party, and later to help him pick up a girl at a bar. They day progresses, Sam discovers that Rasheed, that’s the boy’s name, has an uncanny artistic ability and the two fall into a big-bro-little-bro type of relationship. So Rasheen ends up staying in Sam’s apartment. Around this relationship are three other ones who somehow help Sam deal with Rasheen.
The first is between Sam and Mississippi, the bartender/singer (Kate Mara) he picked up while with Raseen. Sam gets her to his apartment; she refuses to have a one-night-stand, so he offers a three-night-stand (a strategy I might have to try sometime). However being stuck with your one-night-stand for three days is much more awkward than he initially foresaw.
One's realization that you have to spend three more days with her.
The other relationships are friends from Sam’s social circle. Mary (Zoe Kazan) and Charlie (Pablo Schreiber) who are facing a tough decision of moving to LA or staying in New York, a situation that provides interesting and accurate descriptions of the both cities. And Annie (Malin Akerman) who has trouble finding the right guy but might just have found him in a guy from work (Tony Hale).The film jumps from one relationship to the next for the one-week in which Rasheen is in their lives. But it avoids the cliché of the lost black boy being the solution to everyone’s problems. In fact it does the opposite because what Sam did is legally defined as kidnapping. It is a good moment in the film when a character points out exactly this.
This is the first film of Josh Randor as a writer and director. For a first time around, this is great work. I believe he has a good chance of becoming a staple of Indy feel good movies. As for his acting, it is amazing how little of Ted Mosby we see in Sam; I kind of prove his versatility despite the fact that both characters are young New Yorkers finding their way in life.
HappyThankYouMorePlease is a crowd pleaser that feels as good as every word in its title. This is a movie I recommend you go and check it out. It is getting a limited release but try to find it. You won’t regret seeing it.