By Tara McNamara,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Dark marriage comedy has sex, drinking, smoking.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Don't let your friends negatively influence your relationships. Communication is important in a relationship.
Positive Role Models
Tom and Janet demonstrate how love lasts: communication and consideration. Stereotypical gender roles are flipped: Janet works an office job, while Tom is a creative who works from home, does the laundry, and cooks. A group of married friends reflects sexual and ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
A shooting. Guns are displayed and carried. A woman shows signs of physical abuse. Off camera, one character strikes another character with an object; blood is splattered. One character sexually pursues an unwilling partner relentlessly.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Storyline is completely focused on maintaining romance within a marriage; a married couple has sex constantly. Main male character frequently shown shirtless. Scenes put characters in positions that strongly imply oral sex; nudity implied under strategically placed sheets.
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Strong language includes frequent use of words including "a--hole," "bitch," "bulls--t," "s--t," "d--k," and "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
Friends stay at a luxurious mansion and gape at its splendor. Car brands are seen and mentioned: Lexus, Jeep, and Hyundai.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink very heavily. Two characters smoke in one scene. Supporting characters mention being high.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Happily is a dark romantic comedy that takes a cynical look at keeping the flame burning in a long-lasting marriage. Long-married Tom (Joel McHale) and Janet (Kerry Bishé) are still so crazy in love that they have sex 2.5 times a day -- and that's made very clear. There's no explicit nudity, but expressions, positions, verbal references, and postcoital bliss (including implied nudity under strategically placed sheets) are all used to convey their passion. Their friends are heavy drinkers and pot users; they also smoke a bit and swear a lot; "d--k" and "f--k" are the favorites. The movie's few moments of violence (involving guns and signs of abuse) are meant to shock, but the victims aren't shown on camera during or after the incident.
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Where to Watch
Videos and Photos
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What's the Story?
After 14 years, Tom (Joel McHale) and Janet (Kerry Bishé) are still so HAPPILY married that they nauseate their friends. When those friends uninvite them from a weekend group getaway, Tom and Janet are confronted with the idea that something is wrong with them. Natalie Zea, Natalie Morales, and Stephen Root co-star.
Is It Any Good?
Writer-director BenDavid Grabinski takes what's a snarky aside between some old married couples and tries, unsuccessfully, to turn it into a 90-minute comedy. Unfortunately, starting a joke with the punchline -- ugh, Tom and Janet still have lots of sex after all these years -- is a bit of a problem: There's nowhere to go. A promising supernatural setup takes a left turn at murder, and eventually it's clear that Grabinski doesn't know how to end the tale.
Spooky stories are Grabinski's claim to fame: He's behind the Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid of the Dark? And Happily (which was executive-produced by Jack Black) is clearly the grown-up tale he's had bottled up inside. A message is bubbling up and trying to get out -- but what, exactly, is Grabinski trying to say? If you have bad friends, get new ones? Unhappy people will try to bring down happy ones? Or maybe, yep, you really should've picked another movie to watch.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about why Tom and Janet's relationship works. Why is communication important between partners?
How are drinking, drugs, and smoking depicted in Happily? Are they glamorized? Are there realistic consequences? Why does that matter?
Would you define this movie as a comedy, a romance, a mystery, or a crime drama? Why?
- In theaters: March 19, 2021
- On DVD or streaming: March 19, 2021
- Cast: Joel McHale, Kerry Bishé, Natalie Morales
- Director: BenDavid Grabinski
- Inclusion Information: Queer actors, Latinx actors
- Studio: Saban Films
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual content, language throughout and brief violence
- Last updated: October 8, 2022
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