Don’t Forget To Put On A ‘Happy Face’ (2020) Movie Review

Happy Face is a new Canadian movie directed by Alexandre Franchi (The Wild Hunt 2009) and stars Robin L’Houmeau (Goddess of the Fireflies 2020) and Debbie Lynch-White (Windex 2017).

Film Synopsis:

Estranged from his manipulative cancer-stricken mother, Stan, a quixotic 19-year-old, dons a disguise and joins a therapy workshop for disfigured patients in a misguided attempt to reconnect with her. But when his deception is revealed, Stan, who is desperate to gain coping skills to care for his disease-ravaged mother, offers the afflicted patients a bargain: he stays with the group, and in exchange he teaches them how feel good about themselves: by using their “ugliness” as a weapon against our beauty-obsessed culture.

 

Although Happy Face is not a horror film, it still blew me away. It was a wonderful to see actors with real disabilities getting their chance to end a stigma. As someone who as a disability, it’s great to see them represented in film.

My favorite part is the raw emotion. I know it’s just a movie, but in some scenes, you can feel the characters’ pain because that’s the pain the actor feels in real life. But there is so much more to the film outside of the disabilities. There is a sense of looking at yourself in a different way. Looking for something better in life.

There is a lot of pain shown by each character, even the ones who were disabled. And that pain resonates with me; it was an emotional roller coaster. What Happy Face does well is that it doesn’t make us feel bad for the actors with disabilities. It makes us think twice about how we should treat them and others. They’re still human beings, after all.

Happy Face has plenty of funny moments; they are hysterical, actually. But then the comedy suddenly goes away, and it becomes a drama again. The filmmakers did a great job at balancing that out.

Happy Face is a fantastic film that shows human connection like I’ve never seen it before. The film is now available on Prime Video, On-Demand and iTunes.

Read another PopHorror writer’s thoughts on this film here.

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About Anthony Baamonde

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