Writer/Director Josh Radnor, best known from the TV series How I Met Your Mother, produces a surprisingly tender and altogether outstanding film in 2010’s Happythankyoumoreplease. This romantic comedy follows three storylines involving the search for love and what happens when you finally meet the person that’s right for you.
The film begins with author Sam played by Writer/Director Josh Radnor. He wakes up late after a one night stand and is in a hurry for an interview regarding a novel he wrote. While on the subway to his meeting, Sam notices that 8 year-old Rasheen is left behind by the people caring for him and has no where to go and no one to watch over him. Sam watches him, brings him to the meeting and eventually takes him home. On the way home, Sam passes by a bar where Mississippi, played by Kate Mara works. The two of them enter the bar and Sam finds out enough information to ensure another conversation with Mississippi. Sam and Mississippi meet and are attracted to each other. So much so that they head back to Sam’s apartment. They devise a contract stating that Mississippi will live with Sam for the next three days. Immediately Sam seems to reject this notion once they’ve had sex and he’s woken up the next morning.
Meanwhile there are two other storylines going on in the film. Annie, played by Malin Ackerman, has an auto immune deficiency and has lousy taste in men. A slightly awkward man that works in the same building as her begins to talk his way into having a relationship with her. Annie and Sam are best friends and they continually seek each others advice regarding their relationships or lack there of. Also there is the storyline of Mary Catherine and her boyfriend Charlie. The two of them are traditionally bad for each other and Charlie wants to move to Los Angeles. Mary refuses and reveals that she’s pregnant. The two of them are joined together by this announcement and seem to go on with their lives perfectly happy.
Getting back to Sam and Mississippi, he falls into the traditional traps of not wanting her after they’ve had sex and she seems to want more, then repel if more if offered. She’s working as a waitress and a singer and Sam continues to not show for her performances with varying degrees of reasons why. Eventually this independent comedy has a happy ending and resolves in a way that’s both satisfying and touching.
Knowing Josh Radnor from How I Met Your Mother, I thought it would be difficult separating the character of Ted from his TV work and the character of Sam in this film. There isn’t much work to be done to accept Radnor as Sam here. The character is fairly similar to Ted with the exception that Sam has much more charm and prowess with the ladies. What was so fantastic about the film was the way the people interacted with one another. Instead of talking at each other and delivering line after line of mind numbing monologues, the characters in this film actually seemed to be listening and responding to each other. While there wasn’t anything particularly interesting visually in the film, Radnor does a great job of putting the camera down and letting his script do the work. Both of the Sam characters in the film are charming, the characters believable, and the women are convincingly flawed. This really is a cute romantic comedy that doesn’t fall into the realm of a “chick-flick”. It’s a terrific film and one I hope more will check out.