Movie Musing: Not Another Happy Ending

Shekinah Shazaam · May 26, 2015 · blogging, movie review, writing · 0 comments

Not Another Happy Ending directed by John McKay

starring: Karen Gillan, Stanley Weber, Iain De Caestecker, Henry Ian Cusick, Gary Lewis. Amy Manson, Kate Dickie, Freya Mavor

This film mainly caught my eye because the protagonist is portrayed by Karen Gillan (Amy Pond from Doctor Who) and the story seemed to be a fun take on a writer-publisher relationship.  On Netflix, this 1 hour and 20 something minute film was a real treat to view.

 

Overall

Plot

Jane is an aspiring writer who after being rejected countless times has finally been accepted by the small publishing house that Tom owns.  The two hit it off to revise her novel, and after months of edits, she finds out that he published the book under a completely different title.  This is where the real trouble begins.  In saying that, the movie completely switched focus from that point on.  It was different in that the two fell in love in the beginning, were separated, then reunited at the end.  This story also featured an alter protagonist, Darcie, the spunky and brutally honest figment of Jane’s imagination and heroine of her second novel.  The plot followed the classic story arc in that it had a clear beginning, inciting incident, middle, climax, and end, so it would not confuse watchers.  It also had a level of truth or justice, as against the odds, the two do find love as well as fulfill their dreams in each other.

Character Development

Of the two, Tom showed a great deal more of development than Jane did.  He went from a slightly pompous, secretly conniving fellow to a more open and honest man (as they do.)  Jane stays as her youthful, albeit immature at times, self throughout the film.  Even her father had more development (accepting his past mistakes for the better.)

Pacing

Near the beginning it was quite fast, then slowed to a crawl near the middle and through the end.  Points for having a strong opening to draw the viewer in.  Though also because of that, I was a bit less attentive during the slower middle and wondered if it would continue to drag on.

Dialogue

Conversational but not repetitive.  Some encounters with Darcie had their moments, but it was reigned in on Jane (and others) thinking she was mad at the exchange.

Availability

On Netflix, so available for anyone who has that.  Probably on Hulu as well, so this is more of a web streamed film than a home release.

Performance

Realism/Believability

It is hard to gauge Karen with fresh eyes after seeing her in Doctor Who, but I did notice a similarity between Jane & Amy.  They both have a feisty spirit, are stubborn, prone to violence on the men they care about, & aren’t afraid to call others out on their crap.  Though I wasn’t distracted by any of the performer’s inability to capture truth, Roddy was portrayed the most realistically to me.  He was Tom’s confidant and side kick, but also had both protagonists best interests at heart.

Chemistry

The protagonist Jane and her publisher/love interest Tom have a fair amount of chemistry.  It shows more in the beginning of the film when things are fresh and bubbly with the prospect of working on a new novel, but dies down as success takes a hold of Jane’s life.

Visual

Look

This was an HD widescreen format and had a clear and very cinematic feel to it.

Editing

Stellar.  There was a mix of old classic style cuts with new ones that really meshed well together.  Nothing seems to lag, or cause technical errors.

Locations/Sets

Set in Scotland, this was an incredible location to see (at least for many not accustomed to that place.)  The main locations were, Tom’s agency, Jane’s Flat, the bar where Jane’s father did his quiz game, and various locations outside for book events.

Costumes/Hair/Makeup

Perhaps it’s because this was set in Scotland, but all of the characters were incredibly fashionable.  I would wear the majority of Jane (& Tom’s outfits) with no problem.  Their style has a distinct look about it, European with a classic twist, and avoids all forms of trendy fodder seen in American styling of a similar type of movie.  There was a realism to this film because there was a reuse of items, notably in the freckled author Nicola (Roddy’s flirt) use of her polka dot tights and a couple repeat views of Jane’s trousers.

RATING: 7/10 (because though this was a cute movie, it was still a bit cliche.  The middle dragged on and on, and the main character showed little growth throughout the film.)

 

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