The 2004 film Crash has ruined independent films for decades to come; why? The answer is because the characters’ stories in the Academy Award winning film are masterfully intertwined and intersect to a climatic conclusion. Since then, many web series creators, independent film writers and directors have all used the interweaving and coincidental happenstances within their plot lines. This style is heavily relied upon in the film The Happy Sad.
Directed by Rodney Evans the film is an adaptation of the Ken Urban stage play. Two couples, both with problems are attempting to navigate the next chapter in their respective relationships. The thing is, these strangers (and their side pieces) who live in the metropolis of New York just happen to keep bumping into one another at the restaurant, the subway, the bar and even at each other’s homes. You would think the story takes place in a small town and not a large city.
Marcus and Aaron, the black gay couple, (played by LeRoy McClain and Charlie Barnett) decide after six years of monogamy, they want to explore the freedoms of having an open relationship. Stan and Annie, (played by Cameron Scoggins and Sorel Carradine) the white straight couple, are also at a cross roads and Annie needs some time a part. The next hour and some change is a bunch of sad horny 20 somethings interchanging and swapping sex partners until we get to a Crash like conclusion.
For the sentimental types, this film could be an okay date night or conversation starter film; however if you’re tired of the Crash knock offs, I suggest you pass. I can see how The Happy Sad may have been successful as a stage play but as a film…meh. If you have some spare time you can check out The Happy Sad now streaming on Netflix.