A prizewinner at last
year’s Sundance, this offbeam relationship comedy sets out in territory that
suggests a Scandinavian variant of TV’s Suburgatory,
as an ultra-liberal, somewhat superior Danish couple move with their adopted
African child to a snowy Norwegian backwater, piquing the interest of perky
neighbours whose interests include hunting and homophobia. Nightly board games
reveal differences not just between, but within, the couples; several guarded
and complicated rounds of partner-swapping ensue. Its quirks – such as the
blues harmony quartet deployed as on-screen musical punctuation – could easily
have been omitted, but they’re typical of how director Anne Sewitsky keeps her
mind open, and her performers get us caring about these characters, whichever
way, and however clumsily, they happen to swing. Like Kaja (Agnes Kittelsen),
the wide-eyed Madame Bovary at its heart, Happy,
Happy starts out cartoonish and winds up oddly endearing.
Happy, Happy opens in selected cinemas from today.