The Happy Film

How does one become happy? Will coffee or yoga make you feel good? Or is it free-time, job or a girlfriend? In the 21st century some search happiness from hygge and meditation; others tour countries starting with letter I, or package their belongings to rental storage.

Stefan Sagmeister is a graphic designer on his fifties and with a liking to younger women. At first you might think that he is just one more lost soul with too much free time. Later, when you learn that he hired a director to make a film about himself, his albeit successful career and his love life with its petty troubles, you become absolutely certain of the ridiculousness of it all. The Happy Film is exactly what you might expect: personally focused and ego-centric self-help nonsense. But it is nonsense taking the existential crisis to eleven – it is so over-the-top that it is funny.

In the beginning, directors Hillman Curtis and Ben Nabor might not have understood that they were making a comedy. Yet comedy is what Sagmeister’s story turned into. The visually wonderful three-act search for one’s self is funnier, sadder and more colourful than its predecessors. Only this time we also get to laugh at the main character, the modern time, and ourselves.

Susanna Peltonen / Translation: Tuomo Karvonen

Languages: German, English
Subtitles: English

  • Director: Ben Nabors, Stefan Sagmeister, Hillman Curtis
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2016
  • Length: 96 min
  • Age limit: null
  • Cinematography: Ben Wolf
  • Editing: Sam Citron, Akiko Iwakawa-Grieve
  • Audio: Colin Huebert, Matt Abeysekera
  • Production: Ben Nabors / So So Productions


  • Cinema Sõprus: Saturday 28.01 - 16:00