04th Feb2014

‘Not Another Happy Ending’ Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Karen Gillan, Stanley Weber, Iain De Caestecker, Amy Manson, Kate Dickie, Freya Mavor, Gary Lewis, Henry Ian Cusick | Written by David Solomons | Directed by John McKay

NAHE-cast

When I decided to review Not Another Happy Ending the reason for this was pretty obvious, as a Doctor Who fan I was interested in a movie where Karen Gillan took a lead role. As Amy she was arguably one of the most popular companions to The Doctor and with her moving onto Guardians of the Galaxy it looks like she has a huge future in the movie business. What I was interested in was how she could handle a role that required more acting than action, though to be fair she had her moments in Doctor Who with her Raggedy Man (fans will know who I mean).

In Not Another Happy Ending Gillan plays Jane Lockhart an author who has a volatile relationship with her publisher Tom Duvall (Stanley Weber), and owing him just one more book looks forward to finally finishing it. As she gets to the final chapter though writers block sets in and while Tom tries to sabotage her happiness in the hopes of reigniting her writing talent, she has some soul-searching to do, all helped by Darsie (Amy Manson) the protagonist of the novel.

It is fair to say that the audience is charmed by Karen Gillan almost straight away. Her performance as Jane Lockhart creates a character that is strong, but also underneath it all insecure, and that is played very well through Gillan’s body language. Feisty and strong-willed she lashes out, but to the audience it’s obvious that the fear is there in Lockhart, and that is down to the character that has been created. Her mother dead and her father non-existent in her life for many years she fears rejection, yet knows that in the end she can survive alone.  In many ways when we encounter Darsie she is very much the stronger side of the Lockhart character manifesting itself to push for action, and to have her story finished.

Tom Duvall is an interesting character as a French publisher in Edinburgh, but this is down to casting changes which led to changes in the character. For me though this added a certain flair to the film, especially when he loses his temper and rants in a French accent. In a film which is very proud of its Scottish roots and waves the flag proudly, having Stanley Weber’s character in it is a unique move. I also like his friendship with the Roddy character played by Iain de Caestecker who acts as his partner in crime in the many schemes to get Lockhart writing again.  Both these two and Gillan play their roles in a comic way, but never go too far into farce.

When reading about Not Another Happy Ending to get ready for this review, I was surprised to see that this was a partly crowd funded film using the Indiegogo website. In many ways this shows that the crowd sourcing model can work, at least in getting the initial funding for a small budget film together. Not Another Happy Ending is an entertaining little rom-com which shows that Karen Gillan is well on her way as a lead actress and has a versatility and presence that holds your attention. Not Another Happy Ending is well worth checking out for fans of romance, and if it gets more attention for the presence of Karen GIllan, all the better.

Not Another Happy Ending is released in the UK on DVD 10th February.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com
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