Happythankyoumoreplease is centered on a group of twenty something New Yorkers at various levels of transition: love, career, and growing up. The film is written, directed, and also stars Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother). Radnor’s directorial debut showcases a colorful side of New York and a variety of colorful characters. The group of young actors all put together solid performances which is essential for an ensemble cast. This is another festival friendly film with a solid group of actors that is definitely worth a look.
All too frequently independent films are stymied by previous failures and clichés. It’s refreshing when a film utilizes prior missteps to shape its story. The multiple narrative is difficult to pull off if the characters are flat. The integral part is that the characters need to be interesting. I found myself drawn to Sam Wexler (Josh Radnor) he’s an aspiring writer that finds himself taking care of a foster child. Sam is the lead of the ensemble cast as well as the character experiences the most development. Radnor’s performance is more than just a guffaw or two. He actually demonstrates some range with his ability to show compassion as well as have some comedic timing. He is undeniably charismatic and had some chemistry with Mississippi (Kate Mara). I found Annie (Malin Akerman) to be the weakest of the cast. Throughout the film, I found myself having to get through her scenes to the more interesting storylines. Most people would chalk that disinterest up to writing. However, I feel like good actors will command the viewer’s attention whenever they are on camera and she just does not do it. As an up and coming actress, she just needs to be better.
The direction was excellent. Radnor was able to pace the scenes fairly well. Also, shooting in New York provides a very easy canvas to work
with. There are great scenic shots and motion shots. I was very impressed with the savvy camerawork. I look forward to Radnor’s next film because he was shown me something solid with his debut.
Widescreen 2.40:1. The HD makes New York look especially vibrant. The presentation is top notch. I would honestly anticipate nothing short of great for a blu-ray and it looks great.
The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 is full bodied and immersive. The music throughout the film is a great companion to the film. Jay May provides the score and she did a tremendous job. It debunked a faux pas that is often made by independent film, trendy music. The music can be interesting and original without being too trendy.
Commentary Track: Writer/Director/Actor Josh Radnor and Producer Jesse Hara offer their thoughts on the film. They provide a slew of witty anecdotes about the production and have some funny jokes in there. It is an entertaining track and you can hear their passion about their first film.
Happythankyoumoreplease – Featuring Jay May: A small featurette about the music and how it came about. Jay May provides some interesting insight.
Josh Radnor demonstrated his versatility as a filmmaker and I really enjoyed his first effort. I would recommend people give smaller films such as this an opportunity before condemning them. I myself am guilty of judging books by their cover and I urge everyone to not make the same mistake. Go out and enjoy this film.