Ok, non chiedetemi il perché ma questa recensione mi è venuta fuori in inglese. Dopo aver finito di vedere il film, al momento di mettere nero su bianco il mio parere, mi sono resa conto che tutte le frasi che mi saltavano in mente per descrivere i punti cruciali della storia erano in inglese. Quindi tanto vale attenersi ai capricci del mio cervello e continuare in quel senso.
Mi scuso con i lettori non-anglofili, ma stavolta è andata così.
E per tutti gli anglofili: scusate per gli eventuali errori.
Not another Happy Ending is one of those lovely semi-independent films that you watch when you are in a particular mood.
Jane Lockhart (Karen Gillian) is an eccentric young novelist who is still looking for her first big opportunity. After countless rejection letters, she crosses her path with the French (Scottish by choice and character) one-man-editor Tom Duvall (Stanley Weber) who decides to publish her book, but not before spending an humongous amount of time correcting her every paragraph.
And now pay attention, this part is going to be important later.
At this point of the movie, there’s a quite long montage scene (with inevitable background music) used by the director to show us how Jane and Tom work together –in an almost symbiotic way- and how well do they get each other.
I mean, don’t get me wrong : it might be a cheap trick, but it’s a cheap trick that works (I’ll show later) if properly used. The problem here is that it happens too soon in the movie. Just like the main quarrel that is going to be the basis of the rest of the movie.
We’re not given enough time or enough insight in their blossoming relationship to really understand what is happening (because we see it, but we do not feel it) or to give a damn about their quarrel, at all.
For some untold reasons Tom decides to change the publishing title of Jane’s novel without consulting her, making her furious and determined to leave the Publishing Company after the conclusion of their contract – which includes just one more book.
But how are we supposed to understand her sudden and unexplained anger? And be careful: that’s going to be a very important aspect of the story later.
My point is: we don’t know anything about Jane’s novel, we know barely nothing about Jane herself, and we just guessed that the two main characters may or may not be almost sentimentally involved.
Starting now, Jane and Tom's working (and not only) relationship starts to cool down while Jane’s book becomes a sad-best-seller (Nicholas Sparks, bite me!), she finds a new love interest (a pompous ass screenwriter named Willie) and she writes her second novel without a hitch. At least until she arrives at the Last Chapter of the book.
Suddenly she realizes that the end of the book would mean the end of her collaboration with Tom and that sets her off.
And here’s the second problem about the story –always imho. Just looking at this scene, the viewer immediately knows that Jane is blocked because she subconsciously doesn’t want to leave Tom. It’s not subtly hint, it’s just plain said. And that takes part of the fun away. Because -instead- Tom thinks that Jane is blocked because of her “excessive” happiness –you know, that thing about how writer should be miserable and unhappy to create real art- and he starts executing a convoluted plan to make her "mildly unhappy" again. He doesn’t immediately realize that he’s in love with Jane and he keeps hiding behind the “finishing the novel” excuse… and that’s what we (romantic-comedy-viewer) want to see.
So Tom starts to follow through with his ridiculous plan to make her "just a bit unhappy" and -finally– he realizes that he cares about her happiness more than he cares about the book or his own company.
And now we get back to the point I emphasized before: Jane’s sensibility about any changes to her original story.
Toward the end of the movie we find out that the pompous-ass-screenwriter/boyfriend has by now adapted Jane's novel into a screenplay completely distorting the original story by giving it an “happy ending”. Tom finds out and tries to make him change that for Jane's happiness, but Willie prefers to make her really unhappy not changing his "new" ending and to ruin his relationship with Jane, so that he can stick to his "fabulous" screenplay (actually, Jane is the one who gets furious and kicks him out of the door).
Do you see what I mean? Now we understand that Jane is so deeply attached to her story because it’s her story, and that only Tom understands that and tries to fix it because he’s the only one who gets her. But at this point we had about an hour of movie to realize that, while the first time we only had 5 minutes and a montage.
Somewhere in the movie we also had another chip-trick-montage scene (in which they have to work together again) to remind us –and them- that they really get each other and should not part their ways. And this time the montage works, for the same reasons I explained three lines above.
By the way, I almost forgot. During the movie, to symbolize her writer's block, Jane starts seeing the main character of her new novel (Darsie), that teases her about her block… and that would have been a nice idea (if not original…) except that Darsie is just vaguely relevant to the story. But at least she’s funny.
Another funny element is Tom’s assistant/high school teacher Roddy, that tries to help him with his weird plan and that made me laugh like an idiot (I don’t know why!) by teaching
absolute bollocks completely inaccurate and false historical facts to his students.
William Wordsworth was, of course, the first of the romantics to use a MacBook Pro.
...which is why Shakespeare never left New York again.
Jane Lockhart, of course, followed Charlotte Bronte as only the 2nd writer in English to design and build her own overcraft.
In the end –of course- Jane finishes (badly) her novel but she also finds out about Tom’s plan to sabotage her happiness and sets of outraged…. But then they have to work together again to fix the book and they realize that they love each other… et cetera, et cetera….
Love quote of the movie:
«You are frankly about the most infuriating person I’ve ever met, which considering I work in Scottish publishing, is saying something. But we couldn’t have got here without each other.»
and that’s pretty much the extent of Tom’s love-talk to Jane, but they are happy working and being with each oter, and that’s fine with us.
So it was another Happy ending.