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Happily Even After (2004)

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Elizabeth
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Stuart
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Gabrielle
Tomas Herrera ...
Greg
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Chris
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Tina
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George Theveos
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Steven David
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Gavin
Quin Gordon ...
Lewis
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Public Defender
Roland T. Abasolo ...
Mafia Guy Applicant
Howard Malpas ...
English Butler Applicant
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3 May 2004 (USA)  »

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A Nutshell Review: Happily, Even After
20 July 2006 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Happily. Even After is a tale directed by Singapore born director Unsu Lee, a neat little sibling drama, with a surreal fairy tale inject into the narrative. It's pretty amazing I suppose for any Singaporean director to have had his hands at making a movie in the USofA, and one which stars Jason Behr, of Roswell the television series fame too.

With their parents' unfortunate demise, siblings Elizabeth (Fay Masterson) and Jake (Behr) are left to fend for themselves. Taking upon herself to look after her brother, she falls for an all too familiar role of being the naggy, overly concerned big sister role, a relatively successful career woman, with quite a pathetic love life. Jake, on the other hand, is a character who seemed to have everything going his way as a kid, until he decided to clam up and shut himself to the outside world - the quintessential under-achieving slacker, the disdained anti- social with a mission to bust his liver with alcohol.

However, everything changes (as always) when Katie (Marina Black) enters their lives. Knowing Elizabeth through a roof top encounter, having Katie offer her services as a nanny- fairy-godmother of sorts, to look after Jake and get his life back on track, it seems like it's one of many films with similar plots, of having a girl teaching a guy how to live life. Katie and Jake don't hit it off from the start, given their bad encounter with each other at a laundromat at the start of the movie, but it falls into predictability as our guy falls in love with the girl, sending Jason Behr's groupie fans amongst the audience into ecstasy.

Predictability though, is not on the menu, so some twists are expected towards the end. It might be contrived to some, in the vein that it had to go down the course it was chosen, to be different. But it is indeed this difference that makes this movie truly unique, and having it open ended, allows for various interpretations of what could be, or could have been.

Set in San Francisco, the movie has superb music done by Kid Galahad, which adds an excellent layer accompanying the pleasing visuals. The cast, including those in supporting roles, did an adequate job in fleshing out their characters, and allows you to easily identify the struggles that each of them go through, to overcome doubt, gain confidence, and more importantly, to live life.


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