Review: Not Another Happy Ending (2013)

Not Another Happy Ending (2013)

Directed by: John McKay | 102 minutes | comedy, drama, romance | Actors: Karen Gillan, Stanley Weber, Iain De Caestecker, Gary Lewis, Henry Ian Cusick, Freya Mavor, Kate Dickie, Amy Manson, Niall Greig Fulton, Bill Barclay, Cora Bisset, Louise Goodall, John Bett, Callum Cuthbertson

What a cutest movie this is! So, let that be said. Director John McKay mostly spent hours on TV series such as “Hustle”, “The Whistleblowers”, “Canterbury Tales”, “Lip Service”, “Life on Mars”, “Shetland” and “Ordinary Lies”. But then it turns out that he also masters the romkom genre! It’s not for nothing that the DVD cover says that ‘this film has more heart than most romantic comedies from Studio Hollywood’.

Tom Duval (Stanley Weber) runs a small publishing house called Tristesse. Because he sees something in her, he offers young writer Jane Lockhart (Karen Gillan, known for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and ‘The Big Short’) a deal for two books. Her first book ‘Happy Ending’ becomes a huge sales success, complete with the prize for Best Debut/Newcomer.

But, the machine falters at the last chapter of book two. Jane even consults her imaginary protagonist Darsie to get rid of writer’s block. The survival of the publishing house hangs by a thread and so Tom tries to get his only goldcrest back to writing in all kinds of ways. Jane, now living with smug screenwriter Willie Scott, may be too happy. That’s why he and his assistant Roddy (amusing role of Iain de Caestecker, also known from ‘Filth’ and ‘Lost River’) try to make her life as miserable as possible in various ways.

Meanwhile, Jane comes to terms with her father Benny (Gary Lewis), who had disappeared from the scene for six years. And what about her feelings for Tom? Isn’t she secretly in love with him? Of course, the audience will think, but despite the laws of the genre, the story remains fresh. The script is especially nice to Roddy (“Kidnapping a pot plant. Our fatal flaw? We are nice guys!”) and also provides an original book presentation.

Add to that the fantastic (literally) dressing of the protagonists and the Scottish scenery and you have a successful romantic comedy. Karen Gillan has the potential to be the next Gemma Arterton: handsome and endearing. Pretty Boy Stanley Weber? If you can even get away with a Scottish/French accent, what more is there to wish for? And as said, Roddy and daddy Lockhart (long-time Lewis, also seen in ‘Filth’, ‘Billy Elliot’ and ‘Gangs of New York’) contribute a shining part.

Love sometimes needs to be rewritten. Director McKay lets the sun shine a bit by letting his actors stroll just off the (too) well-trodden paths. ‘Not Another Happy Ending’ is pleasant viewing pleasure. To fall in love with…

Comments are closed.