Not Another Happy Ending

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Not Another Happy Ending Movie Poster Image
Brit romcom about writer's block has brief nudity, clichés.
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Loyalty; trust; space to tend to the creative process; family.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jane is a hardworking and devoted writer who has ethics about her work; her father attempts to reconcile after a long split and abandonment. Minor characters are largely selfishly motivated to one degree or another and not particularly compassionate.

Violence

A man punches another in the face, knocking him out and bloodying his nose; a woman imagines banging a man's head against his typewriter; two men joke about killing a woman's dog to make her sad; a woman throws a book and an award at a man's head out of anger.

Sex

A woman writes naked, with exposed rear end and brief side boob and running around her apartment with plants and cookie trays disguising various parts. A man and woman kiss, half undress, then go to the bedroom; a man and woman kiss a few times.

Language

"F--k" twice; "bastard," "crap," "s--t," "damn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Casual smoking a few times; casual adult drinking throughout but not to excess.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Not Another Happy Ending is a British romcom about a writer's maudlin memoir about her father's abandonment, with brief mentions of her mother's death and father's subsequent addiction. It features brief nudity (female rear end, side boob), a few instances of "f--k," profanity throughout, casual drinking, and implied casual sex. It focuses heavily on the isolating writing process, writer's block, and aspects of being published or having work adapted to the big screen. Nothing particularly shocking here, but the language, relationship stuff, and paternal abandonment make it a tad heavy for a romantic comedy and best for older teens.

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What's the story?

Author Jane Lockhart has written a great first novel, but her publisher and sometimes-lover betrays her when he tweaks the title behind her back. However, the book is a success, and now Jane must write another. The problem is, the book's runaway fame has given her a newfound happiness, and now she suffers from writer's block. To facilitate the flow, her publisher begins doing everything he can to make her miserable in the hopes that she can finish her second book and honor their contract.

Is it any good?

NOT ANOTHER HAPPY ENDING is shot beautifully, with Ireland as its backdrop. The characters are pretty vivid and quirky but often flat and lacking the necessary chemistry. But the premise here -- of a publisher finagling with his writer's everyday happiness so she will write better, aka more miserably -- is simply too fantastical to get behind, and it's a key component to the movie's major plot. Plus, the myth of the depressive author is just that -- a myth -- and here, the genre and its shorthand stereotypes about the writing life are missing the fresh take that might make this more memorable.

For aspiring writers, there isn't much to chew on here -- plus, the writing process doesn't exactly visually crackle, and here we get it in montage form a lot. Romantic comedy fans may enjoy the screwball love-hate relationship at the movie's center. But there are some heavy adult themes here: some casual sex, casual drinking, a bit of nudity, lots of profanity, and the all-around complexities of adult relationships. Best for older teens, but it doesn't knock any of its strengths out of the park.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Not Another Happy Ending portrays the life of an author. Why do you think so many movies portray writers as depressive types in complicated relationships?

  • Do you think this is an accurate portrayal of what it's like to be a writer? Why, or why not? What other movies have you seen about writers or the issues they face, and how do they compare? Do you think this movie makes writing look glamorous?

  • Do you think a publisher would ever mess with a writer's life to get the writer to write better? Why, or why not?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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