Parents' Guide to

My Happy Ending

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Talky cancer dramedy has strong language, pot use.

Movie R 2023 89 minutes
My Happy Ending Movie Poster: Andie MacDowell looking to the right, with three other women looking at her

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Terminal illness films are known to appeal to teens, but this isn't the kind of three-hanky cancer romance-drama they might be looking for. Sill, like many of those films, My Happy Ending is about realizing priorities and making the decision to embrace life, which means something different to the movie's different characters. And there's much that's lovely about women, most of them over the age of 50, coming together to support each other through a difficult time. When one of the patients is feeling intense pain, they hold hands and go "on holiday" together, transported through their imaginations to a happy place until the pain subsides.

But the story may not be particularly engaging to those who haven't had the cancer experience, even though it also serves as a primer about what it means to have cancer and what to expect while treating it. Things never get particularly scary because, other than bald heads and the occasional wince of pain, the women all look to be in remarkably good health. That's a curious choice, as is making the protagonist a movie star. Julia isn't particularly likable: She's entitled, vain, and sometimes petulant. The point of the film is to suggest that the patient should have agency over how they approach their treatment, but Julia's reasoning for her own choices rings hollow. She may get her version of a happy ending, but the audience doesn't.

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