Previous Review
Next Review
August 24, 2011
Review - " Happythankyoumoreplease "  
(on DVD) By Roland Hansen
For comments or to submit a movie review for possible inclusion on Delta Films site
please send an email to
Directed by: Josh Radnor
Starring: Kate Mara, Malin Akerman, Josh Radnor, Dana Barron,
Richard Jenkins

Josh Radnor is the star of a television sitcom who, seemingly out of
nowhere, has chosen to write and direct his first feature film,
HappyThankYouMorePlease. Since the last person to do such a
thing was Scrubs' Zach Braff with 2004's Garden State, it's
inevitable that Radnor, who stars in How I Met Your Mother, will be
compared to Braff upon the release of HappyThankYouMorePlease.
And the similarities don't end there: Garden State was set in,
naturally, New Jersey, while HappyThankYouMorePlease takes
place right next door in New York City. And both films feature
pronouncements about the vagaries of love and are touted to speak
to a certain young generation, although since the films were made
only seven years apart, it's hard to see how their generations differ
that greatly.

Sam is a would-be writer who has yet to achieve the success of
which he's always dreamed. On his way to a meeting with a
publisher, aspiring novelist Sam Wexler (Radnor) finds Rasheen, a
young boy separated from his family on the subway. When the quiet
Rasheen refuses to be left alone with social services, Sam learns
the boy has already been placed in six previous foster homes and
impulsively agrees to let the boy stay with him for a couple days.
Dropped into Sam’s chaotic, bachelor lifestyle, Rasheen is
introduced to Sam’s circle of friends.

Annie (Malin Akerman) who has an unhealthy pattern of dating the
wrong men, as well as an auto-immune disorder which has rendered
her hairless, Mary-Catherine (Zoe Kazan) and
Charlie (Pablo Schreiber) whose potential
move to Los Angeles threatens their
relationship, and Mississippi (Kate Mara), an
aspiring singer/waitress who tests Sam’s fear
of commitment. When Sam’s unexpected
friendship with Rasheen develops, he realizes
adulthood is not about waiting for the right
answers to get the life you want, but simply
stumbling ahead and figuring them out in the

Soon thereafter, Sam takes a shine to
Mississippi (Kate Mara), a waitress at a local
bar. Sam struggles both to justify his
continued possession of a boy who is not his
to keep, and to work through budding feelings
for Mississippi that don't necessarily jibe with
his previous views on love.

Annie, Mary Catherine, and Charlie are all
likable enough, doing and saying things that
don’t make you want to smack them. (In a film
as potentially precious as this, that’s no small
thing.) Sam is often a childish dick in
comparison, staring open-mouthed and
blankly when everyone in the world tries to
explain why he shouldn’t keep the kid. Still, as
Sam feeds the boy and encourages his
considerable artistic talent, you know his heart’
s in the right place—so, as with his friends, it’s
difficult to stay too annoyed. In the end,
Happythankyoumoreplease is about finding
bliss that fits, and it’s pleasant to see that in
the end, these characters find theirs without
much attendant angst.

Two other threads involve Annie’s quest for
love, both with a bad-news old boyfriend and

HappyThankYouMorePlease finds ways to
stay in the audience's good graces until the
very end. It may not have the true
generational appeal of Garden State, but it
has enough decent moments, especially
through the dialog, to show that Radnor has
what it takes as a filmmaker.

The philosophy of
“Happythankyoumoreplease,” is a way of
looking at both the good and the bad and
asking for more. “Don’t just say thank you,
say ‘more, please.’ Sadness be gone — let’s
be people who deserve to be loved, who are
worthy, cause we
are worthy.”

With insightful dialogue, interesting character
developments, and actors who recite lines as
if they actually do mean something deep,

Radnor’s worked some magic. Happythankyoumoreplease is warm and tender; these shaggy-haired searchers are a bit more
adult than their man/woman-child filmic counterparts. The most mature among them actually doesn’t have any hair at all:
Annie (Malin Akerman) suffers from an auto-immune disorder that leaves her wrapping her bald head in elaborate scarves
and employing false eyelashes for big nights. She claims that optimism is “fucking exhausting,” yet she’s almost always
relentlessly cheery, particularly given her lot in life.
a guy (Tony Hale) who adores her but whom she has zero attraction to; and the somewhat turbulent relationship between
Mary Catherine (Zoe Kazan) and Charlie (Pablo Schreiber). Charlie wants to move to L.A., but Mary Catherine loves New
York—and she may have a more serious reason for not leaving the nest.
Happythankyoumoreplease breaks its own sitcom conventions to emerge as a winning indie romantic dramedy.  Radnor
reaches deep within himself to pull out something resonant.  But it's for his ability to draw that same stuff out of a cast of
young and quite capable actors that makes his first attempt at writing and directing a film a success.  More please.