Happythankyoumoreplease (HTMP) is one of those independent films that you're dying to love. I wanted this movie to be good. I wanted to care about the characters. I wanted to feel like I'd just seen something comparable to Garden State or Beautiful Girls...a well made, well written, character-driven story. But no matter how hard I tried to make this movie good, it just didn't happen. And that's a shame, because there was definitely potential here. And there were even some scenes that worked pretty well...on their own. And therein lies the problem. Even though there were some shining moments, they were tucked into scenes that seemed to be sealed off to themselves. There was little coherency, and that, in part, had much to do with some very poor editing that didn't allow smooth transitioning between scenes. There was also some dialogue here, that was just plain bad. It almost seems as if Josh Radnor, when writing the screenplay, wanted to make sure he gave every character, lead or supporting, enough dialogue so he wouldn't make anyone angry. As a result, much of that dialogue is found within monologues that try their darnedest to sound slick and culturally relevant and cool, but really come off as disingenuous and false. And there was one story line in particular that, not only didn't seem realistic, but was somewhat disturbing. I know when Radnor's character sort of takes Rasheen under his wing, and becomes close to him while taking the boy back to his apartment, the audience was supposed to get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside (as was indicated by the, "Sam...you're my best friend" line). I didn't get that warm and fuzzy feeling inside mainly because I was too preoccupied with how illegal Sam's actions were. Touching as that relationship might have been, it was still kidnapping of a minor. And instead of taking this film down a more realistic avenue with that felonious crime in mind that, no doubt, would have inevitably darkened the film's mood, Radnor completely evades confronting that issue in favor of Sam going to jail in the same way someone driving on a revoked license would. And he gets bailed out? Are you fricking kidding me? This, as others have pointed out, rings the most false out of many unrealistic moments. One last point regarding dialogue, and I don't usually complain about profanity in movies. But when it appears that characters are uttering F-words just for the sake of uttering F-words, it doesn't make a film more slick and edgy. It just makes it seem desperate to want to be taken seriously as a movie for adults. Hopefully what we have here with HTMP, is a first time director/screenwriter who is learning as he goes, and ironing out the kinks. If that is the case, then perhaps it has done some good for Radnor as he sharpens up his skills as a movie maker. If that's not the case here, then Radnor better not quit his day job anytime soon.
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