Joel McHale (Community) and Kerry Bishé (Argo) star in Happily, the feature directorial debut of writer/director BenDavid Grabinski, the guy behind Nickelodeon’s recent reboot of Are You Afraid of the Dark?. The first trailer has been released, and it sets up an intriguing mystery in which a group of friends gather in a house for a party and discover that they’re locked in.
McHale and Bishé play the happy couple at the center of this story – the type of couple who can’t keep their hands off each other, even in public. But they’re visited by a man who claims to be from the city (Stephen Root), who wants to inject them with some kind of serum that will supposedly make them like everybody else – and things get even weirder after that. With Root’s character seemingly dispatched, the couple decides to attend a weekend getaway with their friends, only to discover that the house they’re staying in (which kinda looks like the rich family’s house in Parasite) has a sleek-looking gun room.
Oh, and evidently, no one can leave. What exactly is going on here? I have no clue, but I’m excited to find out.
Grabinski previously wrote the 2016 Johnny Knoxville/Jackie Chan movie Skiptrace, and first made a splash with his 2011 short film Cost of Living, which starred Brandon Routh, Bret Harrison, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. That was the era in which Hollywood studios seemed to pay closer attention to short films than they do today, when IP is the name of the game. But Cost of Living did a great job of hinting at a larger world, and it seems like it served as a calling card to potentially open some doors that may not have opened otherwise. You can watch that short here:
Happily is produced by Jack Black and stars McHale, Bishé, Root, Paul Scheer, Breckin Meyer, Natalie Zea, Natalie Morales, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Shannon Woodward, and Charlene Yi.
Here is the description from last year’s Tribeca Film Festival:
Jack Black presents a deliciously dark comedy in which Tom (Joel McHale) and Janet (Kerry Bishé) play a couple who has been together for 14 years. Still as in love as the day they met, their honeymoon phase never ended. When they discover that all their friends are resentful of their constant public displays of affection, this charismatic couple start to question the loyalty of everyone around them. Then, a visit from a mysterious stranger (Stephen Root) thrusts them into an existential crisis, leading to a dead body, a lot of questions, and a very tense couples’ vacation with a group of friends who may not actually be friends at all.
Happily comes to digital, on demand, and theaters on March 19, 2021.
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