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Happy (I) (2011)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,197 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 3 critic

HAPPY takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Anne Bechsgaard ...
Herself
Gregory Berns ...
Himself
Roy Blanchard ...
Himself
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi ...
Himself
...
Himself
Richard Davidson ...
Himself
Ed Diener ...
Himself
Ronaldo Fadul ...
Himself
Daniel Gilbert ...
Himself
Tim Kasser ...
Himself
Sonja Lyubomirsky ...
Herself
Nic Marks ...
Himself
P. Read Montague ...
Himself
Melissa Moody ...
Herself
Chikanobu Okamura ...
Himself
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Storyline

HAPPY takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion. Written by Wadi Rum Films, Inc

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3 July 2013 (Belgium)  »

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Happier  »

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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #24.3 (2011) See more »

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Hit 'Em Up
(uncredited)
Written by 2Pac
Performed by 2Pac
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User Reviews

Gross National Happiness?
3 November 2012 | by (Houston, Tx, USA, Earth) – See all my reviews

Yes, instead of Gross National Product, the tiny country of Bhutan, nestled in the eastern end of the Himalayas, focuses on Gross National Happiness. In direct contrast to a country like Japan, where workers under too much job-related stress to increase efficiency and minimize errors are dying way too young.

That in a way captures the focus of this film, "Happy." It examines the human characteristic of "happiness", what it really is, how one achieves it, and how it relates to our lives in total. The film is a good mixture of human examples in the real world, and researchers explaining their findings.

The very first person profiled is a very poor, rickshaw operator in India. But he is happy, because his home is sufficient, and when he gets home from work is greeted by his children. My favorite, because it relates to my own Cajun upbringing, is an extended Cajun family in Louisiana, not wealthy in material things, but enjoying a wealth of happiness from hard work, and sharing the day's seafood haul and enjoying the natural beauty of the waterways and the wildlife.

There are two important, but opposing forces, at work in most humans. One is the need to achieve a certain degree of success, wealth, beauty, and recognition. But this requires competition which in itself does NOT bring true happiness. The other force is to give back to the Earth and society, to have friends, to take care of the less fortunate, to be kind to others, to do good deed, to take time to play and laugh and have fun for no reason than to simply be happy.

It is this second type of force, which is cooperation rather than competition, that leads to better health, both mental and physical, and in general to longer lives. I can relate, I am retired from a career that required competition to get promotions and bigger pay increases. I was sufficiently successful at that to retire, debt-free, at 50.

But in retirement I am much happier, and I believe it is because I now refuse to compete, at anything, I don't gamble, and I play sports only for fun. I often volunteer to help others, even if it is to pause 15 seconds and help a stranger with loading their car with heavy groceries. It just seems like the right thing to do. Or simply greet a stranger with "Good day" and a smile.

The film makes the point, doing the things that make us happier may not take much effort at all, it is just being ourselves and reminding ourselves that being happy is simply an activity that needs to be practiced, just like anything we enjoy.

Good film, I wish everyone could see it.


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