Cancer's been done before in the movies. It's been done really well. And it's been done badly. It's even been used as a minor plot complication in a generic romantic comedy. Who needs another movie about cancer?
Well, when cancer became a reality in my life, I felt compelled to tell a story that dealt with cancer as my way of coming to terms with it. My goal was to portray cancer realistically and perhaps somewhat brutally. Cancer is not a gentle thing. It is brutal. It is more than a plot point. So by putting cancer up on the screen in an emotionally honest way, I hoped to honour anyone who has ever had to live through the experience of cancer, and that includes patients, family and friends.
Cancer--Yay! But why stop there? Why not make the protagonist of the movie an existentially-torn young man filled with ennui and regret? The Grandest Cliché In Independent Films! I guess I couldn't help myself. The theme of true happiness is one that has obsessed me all my life. It consumed me as a child, as a teen, and well into my twenties and thirties. Now that I'm in my forties and I've finally started to understand what happiness really is--you get to hear all about it!
But don't worry. You will love Case, the central character of Unhappy Happy. You won't want to kick him and yell at him for being a whiny, miserable, passive, entitled brat. There is much more to him than that.
What I want you to know is that Unhappy Happy takes these tired clichés and confronts them head on, wrapping them around a story that's fresh and funny and even fun. More than a story about angst and cancer, it's a story about love and kindness and bravery.