Happily it’s a sci-fi thriller inspired by the parents of The OC, says director

Here’s how Hollywood works: Screenwriter and director BenDavid Grabinski moved to Los Angeles in 2005 in hopes of breaking into the industry. Six years later, he made a nifty short film, Cost of living, a business card that immediately led him to work writing blockbuster movies. Some scripts attracted attention: his name is on a Adventure time The movie’s script somewhere in the archives of Warner Bros. and Paramount even looked at him to direct a “big, expensive action movie.” But in 2018, he still hadn’t made a movie. Nickelodeon gave Grabinski the keys to reboot Are you afraid of the dark? but still, it wasn’t a movie.

Adrift, he wrote Happily, a science fiction thriller, romantic comedy (?), mystery box that defies all conventional wisdom about the kinds of movies that are actually made today.

“This is the only thing I’ve written that do not have a blast on that, “admits Grabinski. But it’s the movie that people with money in their pockets finally let him make.

“I’d been trying to write movies where I was like, ‘Well, what would other people like if they gave the green light?’ And this is what I wrote, where everything was purely intuition oriented, from writing to casting to directing and ending. And I think [it took off] because it was so specific. It was one of those things where, if you read the first 15 pages, you’ll say, ‘What the hell is this?’ or positive? ‘What the hell is? this? ‘”

Happily stars Joel McHale (Community) and Kerry Bishé (Stop and set fire) as husband and wife who, years after their marriage, still bring the lustful fire into everyday life. They love each other, and their complaining married friends are sick of it. What happens next is the genre twist: a mystery agent comes to your door to “heal” the couple, someone ends up dead, and a pre-planned vacation retreat. extremely uncomfortable as suspicions about what is really going on rise.

Grabinski says that while the movie is deeply personal, it also started with an annoying element from so many movies and TV shows that he loves.

“The way my dumb brain works is that I mix things up in really weird ways,” he says. “The original genesis of this idea was simply that I really liked the parents of The oc, Friday night lights, or Elf – these really loving and conflict-free couples – and wanting to make a movie about a couple like that. ”

The icons Sandy (Peter Gallagher) and Kirsten Cohen (Kelly Rowan) in The oc.
Image: Fox TV

And let’s be clear: Grabinski loves it, a bit of Sandy Cohen from The oc. “As much as you want to love Ryan Atwood, he packs up to go to Chino way too many times, and Sandy doesn’t pack up to go, man. […] They’re just shit you know But if Stephen Root [who plays Happily’s shady agent Mr. Goodman] showed up on their doorstep and said there was something wrong with their marriage, would have seen that season arc of The oc. “

As Grabinski trudged through the day-to-day “making it” in Hollywood, his appetite for watching and rewatching classic movies only intensified. You can say that from Happily, who greets everyone from Brian De Palma to Dario Argento and John Carpenter. There are also multiple MacGruber Easter eggs. “I couldn’t do it without having some egregious references to MacGruber, “he says.” But[thereferencesarealsofilteredthroughahighly-intensifiedfilmandtheaterdeliverysystem”[thereferencesarealsofilteredthroughaveryheightenedtheatricalcinematicsillydeliverysystem”[lasreferenciastambiénsefiltranatravésdeunsistemadeentregatontacinematográficayteatralmuyintensificada”[thereferencesarealsofilteredthroughaveryheightenedtheatricalcinematicsillydeliverysystem”

In addition to all the visual references, Happily it is also the departure of a student of style. Grabinski admits that he meticulously planned his shots to give his directorial debut high production value – from vivid compositions of wide shots to moving camera work and the kind of lighting not normally seen in independent film – and the result. It is a movie. packed with comedic actors (Paul Scheer, Breckin Meyer, Natalie Zea, Natalie Morales, Jon Daly, Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Charlyne Yi round out the cast) that is framed like a paranoia thriller.

Still, still hope to do something explode on the screen at some point.

“The next thing I wrote is weirder and has a ton of action scenes. So, let’s go.”

Happily is currently available to rent at Amazon, Appleand other services.

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