Entertainment Entertainment Movies

'Happythankyoumoreplease' review: You'll get `em next time, Ted Mosby

**1/2 (out of four)

 

Bummed that he can’t sell his novel, almost 30-year-old short-story-writer Sam (writer-director Josh Radnor of “How I Met Your Mother”) temporarily adopts Rasheen (Michael Algieri), a young boy (and cheap script device) from an unhappy foster home who gets lost on the subway. That’s only the beginning of the emotional pile-up: Sam romances a waitress/singer who goes by the name Mississippi (Kate Mara); Sam’s best friend Annie (Malin Ackerman) confronts alopecia and a bald suitor (Tony Hale); and Sam’s old pal, Mary-Catherine (Zoe Kazan), suspects her boyfriend (Pablo Schreiber) wants to move from New York to L.A.

The buzz: Where have we heard this before: The star of a popular TV comedy makes his first movie, in which he also stars, set to moody indie rock and focused on misguided folks in their late 20s trying to, at long last, grow up? Please, Josh Radnor, don’t turn into Zach Braff (“Garden State”).

The verdict: Radnor has a knack for dialogue. Sometimes. Other times he gets lost in his own navel-gazing, struggling to find his way in a mostly earnest, occasionally ironic film about people lacking direction, ambition and, for the most part, anything actually standing in their way. Radnor’s characters are heavily self-interested, which is perhaps a fair representation of people constantly processing their lives until they get anything figured out. Yet “Happythankyoumoreplease,” which contains a lot more talk than action, reflects a romantic/shallow view of happiness and clarity (just have it!) muddled by a refusal to really chip away at situations that neither click separately or as a unit. In other words, it’s your typical first movie from a potentially promising filmmaker: Not bad but not quite there.

Did you know? To make Rasheen sleep, Sam puts on Leonard Cohen and the kid’s out immediately. Insult to the legendary singer or, you know, a good idea?

Watch Matt on “You & Me This Morning,” Fridays at 7 a.m. on WCIU, the U

mpais@tribune.com

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • Worst new movies
    Worst new movies

    The recent awfulness we've seen, like 'Blackhat,' 'Predestination,' 'Into the Woods,' 'Exodus: Gods and Kings,' 'America the Beautiful 3,' 'Dumb and Dumber To,' 'The Better Angels,' 'Interstellar,' 'Laggies,' 'Low Down,' 'Ouija,' '23 Blast,' 'Stonehearst Asylum,' 'The Best of Me,' 'The...

  • Best new movies
    Best new movies

    Reviews of recent favorites like 4-star 'A Most Violent Year,' 'American Sniper,' 'Paddington,' 'Two Days, One Night,' 'Still Alice,' 'Selma,' 'Inherent Vice,' 'The Gambler,' 'Mr. Turner,' 'The Babadook,' 'Wild,' 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part 1,' 'Foxcatcher,' 'Food Chains,' 'Force...

  • Good movies to rent now
    Good movies to rent now

    See what recent DVD releases are worth your time and money. Don't rent? Check out the newest movies to stream here. Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page. 

  • Hot Hollywood interviews
    Hot Hollywood interviews

    The most memorable quotes from our latest movie Q&As, including Sienna Miller, Emily Ratajkowski, David Oyelowo/Ava DuVernay, Eddie Redmayne, Jon Stewart/Maziar Bahari, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons, Damien Chazelle, Ger Duany/Emmanuel Jal, Jocelyn DeBoer/Ingrid Haas,...

  • Amazon to start collecting Illinois sales tax
    Amazon to start collecting Illinois sales tax

    Amazon.com will start collecting sales tax from Illinois shoppers Feb. 1, the e-commerce giant said Friday, in compliance with a new state law that aims to treat online and brick-and-mortar retailers equally.

  • As drones grow in popularity, so, too, the danger of 'flyaways'
    As drones grow in popularity, so, too, the danger of 'flyaways'

    Robert Ross had his drone less than a month when it became a "flyaway."

Comments
Loading