Would-be Woody Allen-ish indie happythankyoumoreplease | Film Review | Indy Week
Pin It

Would-be Woody Allen-ish indie happythankyoumoreplease 

Pablo Schreiber and Zoe Kazan in "happythankyoumoreplease"

Photo by Matt Marks

Pablo Schreiber and Zoe Kazan in "happythankyoumoreplease"

happythankyoumoreplease takes place in a superficially recognizable but lifeless version of Manhattan's East Village. Its treatment of the city is full of distractingly dissonant moments, like a Union Square Park where you can play catch, summer days that would allow one to wear more than one layer, and the concept of a ladies' man who wears cargo pants.

The first of such out-of-touch moments is the one in which protagonist Sam (played by writer-director Josh Radnor, star of TV's How I Met Your Mother), who can afford to live alone in a spacious one-bedroom in a prime neighborhood, doesn't spring for a cab when he's late to an important meeting with a publisher. When someone might publish your first novel, it seems like you'd spare the 15 bucks to get to midtown. But then, if Sam doesn't board the subway, he won't encounter Rasheen (Michael Algieri), a cute black child who's been separated from his foster family.

As Sam takes Rasheen in, Radnor doesn't veer from what you'd expect: Sam gradually forms a bond with Rasheen and wants to keep him. The unusual thing about Radnor's treatment of this story is that he buries this plot strand among far less weighty story lines. We watch as Sam courts a local bartender named Mississippi (Kate Mara): "Look cute," Sam tells Rasheen in hopes of charming her. For all the energy brought to screen by the scenes between Radnor and Algieri, this may have been the only direction the young actor received. We also meet Sam's childhood friend Mary-Catherine (Zoe Kazan), whose relationship with Charlie (Pablo Schreiber) is threatened by his itch to relocate to Los Angeles, allowing Radnor to treat his audience to some predictable New York-vs.-LA arguments.

Sam's best friend, Annie (Malin Akerman), is also thrown in the mix. She struggles with her tendency to date immature men, and slowly warms up to an obnoxious co-worker, also named Sam (Tony Hale, Arrested Development). It's at dinner with Sam No. 2 that Annie tells a story about a wise cab driver who teaches her to say "more please" every time she says "thank you," supplying an obligatory anecdote that explains the film's title.

Radnor doesn't seem to be aware that his approach sets up a harsh juxtaposition between real problems like Rasheen's and the sophomoric ones experienced by every other character. One gets the sense that Radnor thinks his characters, as they trade platitudes and pep talks with each other, are dealing with momentous issues. But these are people whose search for love and truth is stunted mostly by their middling intelligence. The film laughably name-checks Woody Allen, as if this ensemble had anything in common with the artists and intellectuals who populate Allen's best New York films. Radnor is in over his head, unable to offer viewers a unique version of the city or write characters smart enough to fill his movie with anything more than lazy pontificating.

Film Details

HappyThankYouMorePlease
Rated NR · 98 min. · 2011
Director: Josh Radnor
Writer: Josh Radnor
Producer: Austin Stark, Jesse Hara, Chris Papavasiliou, Benji Kohn, Bingo Gubelmann and Peter Sterling
Cast: Kate Mara, Malin Akerman, Josh Radnor, Dana Barron, Richard Jenkins, Zoe Kazan, Tony Hale, Pablo Schreiber, Fay Wolf and Michael Algieri

Trailer


Now Playing

HappyThankYouMorePlease is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Film Review



Twitter Activity

Comments

My wife is super hyped up over this movie. We're going to see it saturday. Having married a Korean american, …

by Timothy Oswald on On the Upside, Crazy Rich Asians Is a Genuine Cultural Milestone. On the Downside, It's ... Not That Good? (Film Review)

I love this film, and we just did a podcast about it! We explore age-related cognitive impairment, alcoholism, rural midwestern …

by Scott Wickman on Nebraska is maddeningly dead-on (Film Review)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

My wife is super hyped up over this movie. We're going to see it saturday. Having married a Korean american, …

by Timothy Oswald on On the Upside, Crazy Rich Asians Is a Genuine Cultural Milestone. On the Downside, It's ... Not That Good? (Film Review)

I love this film, and we just did a podcast about it! We explore age-related cognitive impairment, alcoholism, rural midwestern …

by Scott Wickman on Nebraska is maddeningly dead-on (Film Review)

Good movie. That showed a career service member can be sold out by BS politicians

by Darin Thigpen Sr on Only military guys can understand (Film Review)

It is a very good film.I really liked it.The film is visual treat to the audience.Suraj Sharma nailed the role …

by Fermin Johnson on Life of Pi is a touching fable (Film Review)

Much as I hate to be that guy, I must nonetheless point out a minor error in your review. The …

by Just Another Malcontent on Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs Is an Alternately Respectful and Baffling Parable About Japan (Film Review)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation