Welcome to Happiness

There is always the opportunity for joy!

Year Released : 2015

Director : Oliver Thompson

Cast : Kyle Gallner, Molly Quinn, Brendan Sexton III, Nick Offerman, Josh Brener and Keegan Michael Key

So those of you who have read this site for while will know I have a list of trailers for films I want to watch (click here for the list), the majority of which I intend to review on this site one day. The problem with that is, that again most long term readers will realise, is that I am piss poor at actually reviewing films on that list.

Some have been on there for several years, and will more than likely still be there long after I have stopped reviewing films. I think that list has been over 30 for at least two years, and yet when I am looking for a new film, I rarely look towards the top of it.

Anyway, this is one such film that has been on there for quite some time, and the reason it was was because I really struggled to find anywhere to watch it. With barely over 500 IMDB votes in four years, it’s a hard film to track down, but I finally managed it.

If I am being honest, I only really want to watch it in the first place because it has Nick Offerman in it, even though I’m sure he won’t be playing more than a bit role. I am really looking forward to seeing him live in London in September.

Hopefully it will be worth the wait.

Plot

Niles (Sexton III) is on the cusp of suicide when his TV turns on and is promoting the sale of a baseball card he owns. After several steps he ends up at the house of Proctor (Key), who gets him to draw a cat, deliver the image to Woody (Gallner).

Woody has a door in his apartment that allows the person entering to go back and change something in their life, or at least that is something that he believes, and he seriously resents that he can’t get that opportunity himself.

What exactly happens on the other side of the door?

So was it worth the wait?

I must admit to being slightly cautious for this due to that other reviews I’d seen saying that whilst the concept was great, the movie never really lived up to it, and at just under two hours long, that is a long time to dedicate to something like that, but I am pleased to say that I disagree with those reviews.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see why some might not like this, as it does meander in places, and it does feel a little directionless in the first hour. For example, you’re left wondering what the hell a baseball card has to do with anything, but it ends up linking quite well, but once that first hour is out of the way and you see how some things have linked today, it definitely works.

Without revealing too much about what actually happens on the other side of the door, I love that when it is revealed what it is, it makes sense. It’s not just an easy way out, it isn’t a magic fix, and more importantly it backs up the moral of the story, to never under-estimate how the negative experiences in your life can actually have positive consequences that you’d never otherwise considered. Not to forget feeding your negativity

This is a film that hits me on a personal level. I connect to it. I have often regretted a lot that has happened in my life, but then I realise that a lot of positives came out of them. I’m not entirely sure what genre it falls into to be fair (I chose drama and fantasy as they seem the best matches), but I know I liked it.

The performances are pretty solid, the development of the characters is believable and the soundtrack really adds to the atmosphere.

Summary

Whilst a bit meandering in places, I really liked “Welcome to Happiness”. It is a movie that has connected to me on a personal level and it was certainly worth the wait.

I don’t often rewatch the non-cinema release movies that I review on this site, not even the ones I really like (the only one I can think of is “Rudderless”) but this will be one of those that I do go back to in a few years.

If you can find it, give it a watch.

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