Family is the most important thing in the world to Kaja, an eternal optimist in spite of living with a man who would rather go hunting with the boys than take her to bed. Whatever, that's life, but when the perfect couple moves in next door, Kaja struggles to keep her emotions in check, suddenly finding herself with a whole new set of problems when she grows a little too friendly with married neighbour Sigve.
A Norwegian comedy whose plot could easily be transferred to a Hollywood rom-com starring Jennifer Aniston but whose tone could not be more un-American if it tried.
Two seemingly perfect couples live in beautiful side by side houses; Kaja and Eirik whose marriage hides a very personal secret and Sigve and Elisabeth, who have recently adopted an Ethiopian child. Though each couple envies the other’s happiness a board game reveals the gaping holes in each marriage leading to a bizarre double love triangle and rather a lot of bed swapping; all the while trying to keep the marriage problems from the respective children.
Though the plot sounds a little contrite it is in fact played out in a very serious, European fashion, Eirik’s latent homosexuality (covered up by numerous hunting trips with his male friends and his assertion that Kaja is no longer as attractive as she was when she was young) provides various opportunities for that strange brand of awkward Norwegian comedy where you’re not sure whether to cringe or laugh. Whilst the lack of any personal or emotional connection between Sigve and Elisabeth is so serious and heart breaking their vague shows of affection are enough to make you physically uncomfortable.
There is a lot of good in this movie, the story flows and the acting is great, some of the script is genuinely hilarious whilst the sobriety of the subject itself is well handled. There is ultimately something missing from Happy, Happy however, the movie lacks substance, you can’t seem to care about the characters and as such the combination of comedy and misfortune is simply not enough to hold your attention for the movie’s brief 85 minutes.