Film & TV

Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival: Happy Ending

Hella Joof directs this Danish comedy about life, love, sex and ageism.

One of the featured films in this year’s Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival, Happy Ending is a Danish comedy of manners.

Helle and Peter are a couple in their late 60s. When workaholic Peter finally retires, Helle can’t wait to spend their twilight years travelling together. Peter has other plans, and their differing views see them separate after over 40 years of marriage. Their marital issues sit within the framework of their friendship group, made up of two other couples of similar age. Through these six characters, we are given an honest, authentic, sometimes sad, consistently hilarious and quite sexy portrait of aging.

Birthe Neumann glows on screen as Helle. Kurt Ravn does a solid job as Peter, although he sometimes threatens to fall into caricature. Marianne Hogsbro and Claus Flygare as couple Linda and Claus, almost steal the film, and some of the most hilarious lines of the screenplay belong to Mette Munk Plum as Birgitte. Also outstanding is Charlotte Sieling as Trinne, the bank manager, who befriends Helle.

In part because of its strong, female creative team-Mette Heeno on screenplay and Hella Joof on direction-Happy Ending thumbs its nose at ageism and sexism. This is relationships, sex, death and life, writ large and sad and messy and screamingly funny.
It is little wonder that this gem was chosen as the opening night film for this year’s festival.

Happy Ending screens as part of the Volvo Scandinavian Film Festival at PalaceNova Eastend and Prospect.
Click here for screening times and further information.

Sparkling and grownup 5 stars

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