Terribly Happy (2008)
May 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
Written by Henrik Ruben Genz and Dunja Gry Jensen based on the novel by Erling Jepsen
Directed by Henrik Ruben Genz
Starring Jakob Cedergren
Terribly Happy is kind of like Red Rock West meets a Twilight Zone episode. Or, for a less esoteric allegory: The serious version of Hot Fuzz. It’s about a small town outside of Copenhagen that is a little too close knit for its own good and a troubled police officer assigned to their precinct because the big city cops believe the town is a zero effort job for cops.
Lo and behold, the town is anything by idyllic or simple and our hero Robert finds himself up to his knees in the literal and proverbial town mud. This film is decent. Lead actor Jakob Cedergren is very good as Robert. He’s got a bit of the standard square-jaw good looks smoldering hero persona going for him with something more complex underneath. I would call him the Danish Robert Redford.
Where the film falters is that the story, as it is laid out, provides a multitude of opportunities for development and hints many times at things going in a unique, interesting or challenging direction, then at every turn they throw in a monkey wrench with a short little conversation that wraps up each problem quite neatly. Nobody seems to want any trouble in this town and everybody is content to just clean up after one another, no matter how deep the dirt gets. I just found this a little perplexing at points because aside from the tired cliche of “we do things our way around here” attitudes of the towns folk, there’s not much else to warrant their actions or lack of action as the story progresses.
All in all an engaging film with a likable leading man, I recommend this for small town caper enthusiasts.