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I almost can't find anything significant to criticize about this film. Amigo the toucan is as cute as can be, the humor is good, the mood is very positive, the scientific foundation is plausible, the political implications are right on target, the fragments of '60s psychedelic music are good, and there are deep philosophical issues underlying it all. Excellent!
The only part I regard as a minor fault is that after the drop-out philosophers become euphoric with the happiness virus, they want to cut their hair, get jobs, and get married. The implication is that American society's current conventions are the optimal route to happiness. Sorry, but I can't buy that. Other than that one lapse of insight, though, the film is well thought-out, charming, and humorous.
Some of the humorous high points are Liz (Mary Tyler Moore) giggling hysterically as the toucan hidden under her dress begins tickling her, Pete (George Peppard) putting on his German philosopher disguise in order to infect as many friends as possible with the airborne happiness virus, a morose beatnik lady called "The Sack" who lives with a sack permanently draped over her head, a hotheaded Greek freighter captain who undergoes a complete personality change, and the voyeuristic officials watching a couple on their honeymoon night via hidden cameras with suspiciously excessive eagerness.
In this era of explicit torture films and child murder films, it's practically a sin that such an upbeat, positive film about happiness isn't even available while all those other depressing movies are. This film is definitely among my top 20 favorite films of all time.
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