Hard to connect dots in film on adultery

Last updated 12:00 07/06/2012

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REVIEW: Happy, Happy
R16, 1hr 28min
Reviewed by Peter Lampp.

This is required viewing for graduates in the finer arts of the birds and the bees and who have a Scandinavian bent.

And book seats in the back row.

Happy, Happy is an unadulterated account of Norwegian adultery.

The Norwegians put it up for consideration for the foreign film Academy Award. But it didn't progress because the American censors were probably flustered by an early scene in which two lovers cavort in the deep snow in the nuddy.

Thus we have one of the coldest hot movies to arrive in a long time.

No surprise that there is spontaneous combustion when it comes to sex. Suppose it is one way to save on central heating.

Two couples with wobbly marriages find themselves living in adjacent homes. Local teacher, the always happy Kaja, seems to be perpetually on heat while her husband, Eirik, who must be blind because he shows no interest in her, frequently goes off for a week hunting deer, or perhaps dears.

Upon the arrival from the city of Sigve and Elisabeth (no point in mentioning the names of the actors unless you inhabit Oslo) to an adjacent guest house, they become candidates as new partners.

None of the seduction is subtle. It ranges from her flashing him, when he walks past a house window, to mechanical rutting.

It is very hard to connect the dots in this one.

While we have English sub-titles for the Norwegian dialogue, all of the songs are sung in English.

There's an underlying pointless racism which is hardly linked to the trysts. The little son of one couple is very Nordic, and for whatever reason adopts a slavemaster attitude to the little adopted African boy of the visiting family.

We were told it was a comedy but smutty movies elicit few giggles.

It was more dramatic than that, what with all the tension in the marriages.

More of a quirky, humiliating tease and could easily be "unhappy, unhappy".

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- Manawatu Standard

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