Another Happy Day
Another Happy Day has a terrific cast. It’s got the two Ellens, Ellen Burstyn and Ellen Barkin, who play mother and daughter, and look surprisingly alike. The story follows Ellen Barkin has two sons, one played by the terrific actor Ezra Miller, who is also in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and the question is can he play anything other than miserable teenagers, and Daniel Yeltsky, who is a terrific little actor as well. They’re on the way to mom and dad’s house for a wedding and it turns out that Ellen, the younger one, was married to Paul, played by Thomas Hayden Church, who’s remarried to Patty, played by Demi Moore who is terrific in this. As I said, mom is Ellen Burstyn, George Kennedy plays dad, who’s had some physical setbacks, and it’s just a very, very good cast. It’s written by first-time director and writer, Sam Levinson, who is Barry Levinson’s kid, and apparently having a thing with Ellen Barkin, which I suppose should be irrelevant. And it has the same problems that almost all first-time directors and writers have, which is a little bit of judicious editing could’ve made a huge difference. I mean it’s clearly heartfelt, but this puts the “dys” in dysfunctional family. The problem is there’s nobody in this group to really like except possibly the kid who has Asperger’s, and even then it’s a little hard to get a hold of him. The cast is uniformly good. So I think that Sam may be a very good director, but somebody needed to pare this down a bit. I’ll give it three stars.