Although romances are often known to follow a predictable formula, over the years, there have been a number of unconventional takes on the genre. Whether it's Guillermo del Toro’s odd sea monster love story Shape of Water or that awkward moment when Ryan Gosling introduced his sex doll girlfriend to his character’s family in Lars and the Real Girl, it can be fun to expect the unexpected. Well, expect something wild in Joel McHale and Kerry Bishé’s new movie, Happily.
It’s a romance, it’s a comedy and it’s a thriller centered on a very much in love married couple after 14 years as husband and wife. Community actor Joel McHale and Argo actress Kerry Bishé play Tom and Janet, who end up realizing that some of their friends are resentful for their doe-eyes for each other so many years into marriage. When they meet a mysterious stranger and go on vacation with their friends, some crazy stuff starts to unfold. When speaking to CinemaBlend, Kerry Bishé spoke about her first reaction to the script without going into spoilers:
The script is bonkers itself and I think it doesn’t prepare you at all for all the other kinds of filmmaking elements that come in during the final cut. There’s these really earnest scenes that you read on the page that are either confusing or sort of simple and then in the movie maybe have this really creepy score that completely changes how you think about what this scene might be about. Yeah, it was a real ride and really completely changes what you think what the scene might be about. It really required a lot of trust on my part and BenDavid Grabinski, the writer, who had to have a very clear and deliberate vision in order to deliver this movie which I think is wild.
So Kerry Bishé calls it bonkers, but what did The Masked Singer’s new judge Joel McHale think of the Happily script upon his first read through? In his words:
When I read it, it was batshit and that was one of the reasons I was so attracted to it. I had one breakfast with BenDavid and I went, this guy knows what he’s doing and I went I’m in, I’m along for the ride. I was very happy to do it and it was super fun.
A good gauge of a great rom-com is the cast having fun on set, and according to Joel McHale, he had a great time translating the “batshit” script for BenDavid Grabinski’s vision. The movie has a bizzare air about it that hinges close to horror territory, which must have been fun to play around with on set.
It’s definitely an interesting concept for a movie about a couple to follow them in a secure place in their long term relationship and discuss how their friends and other outside factors can try to drive them apart. It’s rare for an established couple in a movie to without major problems, but hey, they do exist out there and Happily plays into some of that paranoia that can be bred from those who are on the outside looking in.
Aside from Joel McHale’s recent hosting gigs, the actor recently got some attention for updating Community fans about their hopes for a movie to follow the series. He definitely has some history with batshit with the beloved comedy series there. Happily is now available to buy or rent on Amazon.