Not Another Happy Ending
I always enjoy when they get a chance to have a conversation with film lovers from other countries or cultures. When listing favorite movies. There was obviously going to be a significant bias based on the social economic biases. There also movies that is truly universal. They depend upon reaching an emotional core in the audience, not so much affected by cultural differences as by factors that are inherent across humanity in all its variations. Pretty much anywhere you go on the globe, medical intellect to watch things get blown up, it will enjoy action the they won’t the screen as intensely as possible. Women on the other hand, are far more in touch with the deeper emotional side inheriting our species. They are going to be intrigued by talents of romance and Star-crossed lovers. Please note that these are not intended as sexist statements. Quite the opposite, there are differences between men and women on the emotional and psychological response to a given set of circumstances. Far from being prejudice as a matter of ideology that has been proven many times in built constructed scientific investigations. I considered these factors again when faced with reviewing a movie categorized as Scottish Romantic Comedy. Once you get past the use of extremely wonderful accent, you will realize that the check is the elements driving the film, would be neatly applicable to a rom-com out of Hollywood. Romantic comedy is fundamentally dependent upon the three act strategy of; boy finds girl, boy loses girl, boy and girl wind up together. One thing to keep in mind while watching this film is that in this specific case, the film is going to be sought after by a slice of the audience for that typically associated with romance, science-fiction aficionados. The leading actress, Karen Gillian held the highly coveted role of a companion to a couple of the last three generations of Doctor Who. Occupying the standard archetype of the leading man’s eccentric best friend is Iain De Caestecker, most recently known to American genre fans as a mechanical genius and an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. This is where having a broader worldview of the film becomes a great advantage. I’m familiar with both of these Scottish actors for their participation in their native lands independent film community.
Jane Lockhart (Karen Gillian) is a young author on the precipice of completing her first novel. She is at that pivotal point in her career she has the shop around for publisher who will believe in her and help her get to the public. This situation is very much a buyers’ market with far more eager young authors then publishes willing to take a risk on an unknown quantity. Fortunately for young Jane, she does find a publisher with reputation nurturing burgeoning authors. Like most writers, Jane has become used to the post breaking one rejection letter after another. Arranging them on her wall to serve as a as a continuing reminder to herself to remain on course to fulfill her dreams. Finally, there is a glimmer of light at the end of the long dark tunnel with one small publisher, Tom Duval (Stanley Weber) agrees to publish a novel. He is one caveat in order to make the deal work. He feels that the novel has incredible potential but is rough around the edges. It is indeed of some editing, a provision Jane must accept before going forward. Resisted at first, Jane needs to see her book in print so she agrees. As it turns out, Tom will work with her as the editor. I have known a few authors, in fact I sister-in-law is one, writers become very attached to exactly what they have written, and tend to be rather resistant to an outside changing the words they so carefully created. Starting off on the wrong foot, the first things subjected to Tom’s red pencil is the title. Originally reflected the turbulent relationship with her father to the much softer ‘None of the Happy Ending’, which Jane despises but is going to continue to in order to get the novel published. The first act, and he is very closely to the all too well established checklists that could appear in ‘How to Write a Romantic Comedy; Pablum for the Masses’. This is part of the universal nature of this genre. The matter what culture the unlikely pair hail from their initial interaction is going to be one of antagonism. He rejects a sentence; she counted for why it is necessary. This goes on and on until finally, the last page is typed in the book is ready for publication.
Jane finds herself an immediate success with the book copping the bestseller lists and hope book signings always crowded with adoring fans ecstatically anxious to meet her. The book is so well received that almost instantaneously. There is talk about the movie version. Jane is not the type of person who craves being the center of attention. She likes knowing her book is well received, but when she finds herself on talk shows, being interviewed and stopped for autographs. It makes her uncomfortable. Jane is not used to being happy. Most of this has to do with how she was ignored by her father, Benny (Gary Lewis). With Jane’s face all over the media, she eventually is reunited with her father, albeit reluctantly. If the audience thought that writing partnership with Tom was tumultuous at least the audience knew that it was going to be the pivotal relationship story. Willie, on the other hand, is the archetype of the rebound character, the dalliance the leading lady has during the second act, which he is angry with the leading man. Willie was sent by the studio interested in Jane spoke to help preparing for converting to a screenplay. His brash, egotistical insufficiently unlikable that whenever you see them together, the audience cannot help but to cringe.
As it turns out, Jane is contractually obligated to write a follow-up novel the Tom’s company. She is suffering from a severe case of writer’s block, whose etiology is a very specific one; being cannot write while she’s happy. The first novel came from the angst and disruption of her father’s influence. Now that she is successful in on the road to reconciliation with Benny, she finds it almost impossible to continue writing. The condition worsens until by the time it comes to the last chapter, or she is able to do is bake incessantly. Of course, there’s a deeper meaning behind all this, once she is done with the obligation by turning in the second novel. She has no reason ever to see Tom again. This is a checkbox on the rom-com list with a couple realizes it don’t dislike each other, but they are in love. For Tom, is sounding board and co-conspirator in making her depressed is his friend and assistant, Roddy (Iain De Caestecker), who takes the usual plot contrivances of flimsy disguises to help it is efforts to derail happiness from a life. On Jane’s side of the equation a sounding board doesn’t actually exist, Darsie (Amy Manson), the manifestation of the lead character, and therefore Jane’s alter ego. She’s a bit bustier that her real counterpart, with dark hair, replacing her trademark Celtic red hair. Even though she’s a part of our imagination, Darsie does make some realistic observations. Of course this is because she is privy to, and able to enunciate Jane’s innermost feelings that she is reluctant to face.
This film was put together by the new trend in independent filmmaking, crowdfunding. Instead of looking for studio or marketing company to back the modest budget, the director, John McKay and screenwriter, David Solomons, relied upon the public making smaller donations, which yielded almost $23,000 of the budget. The rest of the funding is apparently dependent upon factors would agree to noninterference the creative process of the filmmaker. Alternate means of funding have been incredible boon independent filmmaking. It may not cost a lot to make it in the film of exceptional quality. But no matter how frugal, the filmmaker might be there are costs involved, crowdfunding, along with artistic grants and private donors allow this crucial part of cinema as an artistic expression to not only survive but to experiment and grow. When combined with alternate means of distribution, including streaming video and manufactured on-demand discs, this is a golden age for the independent filmmaker and cinephiles who appreciate innovation and vitality in the films bring to the media. The DVD for this film has actually been in my collection for couple years now. After a very affordable investment in a region free DVD player, I was able to obtain this movie as a region 2 import. Finally, it is making its region one debut, so it can reach the wider audience that it deserves. True, it is an imperfect film, but in some way that only adds to its charm. After all, a romance between two imperfect people cannot be accurately described with a finely honed and carefully crafted film. Humanity is imperfect, sometimes needs to be presented that way. Pick up this film and enjoyed.