Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Kyle Gallner, Olivia Thirlby, Brendan Sexton III, Josh Brener, Molly C. Quinn, Paget Brewster, Frances Conroy, Nick Offerman, Keegan-Michael Key, Robert Pike Daniel, Bess Rous, A.J. Trauth
Written by: Oliver Thompson
Directed by: Oliver Thompson
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 0
Date: 05/20/2016
IMDB

Welcome to Happiness (2016)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Door to Snore

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

In certain spots, it's hard to hate Oliver Thompson's debut feature. It's a truly heartfelt effort. However, it's not very good; it's an arhythmic mess of ideas and scenes, sabotaged by a bad ending. The movie has an overwhelmingly positive attitude, and it can make us feel good about how "everything happens for a reason." But it's also the kind of positive attitude that can quickly grow annoying, like an over-eager puppy.

Children's author Woody (Kyle Gallner) is stuck on his latest book. It doesn't help that he is also a kind of gatekeeper; in his apartment's closet is a tiny door, and behind it seems to be a way to undo past mistakes. Strangers come to his apartment, he reads them questions and shows them colored rocks, and they enter the door. Woody becomes increasingly obsessed with entering the door himself, much to the annoyance of his girlfriend (Olivia Thirlby). Meanwhile a rare baseball card ties together two strangers and sets in motion a new series of events.

In a small role, Keegan-Michael Key has one or two funny moments, but Nick Offerman, also in a small role, seems wrongly cast. Scenes with minor characters, like the sad baseball card collector (Josh Brener) and the suicidal artist (Brendan Sexton III), seem dropped in almost at random, with no story flow. Likewise, most of the main plot threads seem to either stall or lurch ahead, and mediocre pop tunes are mixed in too loudly and too often. Then, an ending out of a Renaissance Faire just makes you want to scream.

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