When I first watched the trailer for Happy Anniversary on Netflix, I knew it was my type of movie. Indie, fun and sweet enough to qualify as a romcom. But as it’s hard to find a decent indie movie, I wasn’t expecting too much. Five minutes into the movie, however, I was proven wrong and I soon realized that I related to this entire movie.
Happy Anniversary begins, more or less, with couple Molly and Sam who wake up on the morning of their third anniversary and are forced to take a hard look at their relationship when Molly admits she is not happy.
Molly feels under-appreciated in her relationship, whereas Sam argues that she never really lets herself fall in love entirely. Sam likes to keep their issues to themselves, but Molly sees it as Sam caring more about what other people think than who he should really be caring about (her).
The couple look back at the last three years – the highs such as their top rated nights of sex to the lowest of the low with petty arguments and name calling – as they try to work out whether it’s worth staying together or calling it quits.
What I love most about this movie is that it teaches us that to be a slightly disfunctional and f*cked up relationship is okay – in fact, it’s normal. We’re so used to seeing picture perfect relationships in movies where someone makes a small mistake but it’s okay because the couple talk it through, have hot makeup/angry sex and then it’s all okay again. People almost have perfect fights in movies, fights that don’t really matter.
This might work for some people but it’s not legit. In relationships, sometimes a person can drive you so mad that you feel like you’re on the brink of dumping them. In Happy Anniversary, Sam even utters the words ‘The only time I’ll be happy again is when you’re dead’. It’s shocking and harsh, but in a way, it’s almost a normal thing for a fighting couple to say.
I found that this movie was so damn refreshing. I’ve spent so long in toxic relationships in the past, listening to friends and family telling me that they’re not right for me and that I deserve better, failing to see that in actual fact, when not fighting, those people actually made me happy.
Sometimes I feel like people – and myself included – fall in love with the idea and notion of perfect relationships so that when a relationship ends up imperfect, we automatically assume it’s not right and that we deserve better. Few people are willing to put up with the sh*t and the bad stuff that comes along in relationships – so few people are willing to fight.
In the movie, Molly talks about how hard being in a relationship is. I’ve grown up on the idea that when you’re with the right person then relationships are simply easy. But they’re not. Just because a relationship gets hard, doesn’t mean it’s not right. It doesn’t mean this person is less perfect for you than the person before who may have made things easy.
The couple find themselves weighing up the options of whether or not they should stay and make a go of it. My god was this an accurate look at most of my relationships! I won’t spoil the ending for you, but one conversation they have near the end is to say that if they stay together it won’t be easy and they probably will continue to argue. But when you love someone that much it’s worth it, right?
I also loved the actors in this movie. Both Noël Wells (Molly) and Ben Schwartz (Sam) are warm and loveable but have really sweet chemistry on screen. I also particularly loved the character of Sam’s best friend – Ed – who is hilarious. He’s all your friends rolled into one, when you have an argument with your other half – he’s by your side till death, proclaiming his hate and that you can do better but as soon as he sees you’re genuinly happy he begrudgingly gives in because ultimately it’s your happiness that he’s most concerned about.
But ultimately, I just loved that this light hearted movie was a really fun take on a realistic relationship and that it’s taught me that as long as you know your worth and know a relationship is worth it, dysfunctional relationships or relationships filled with doubts and worry aren’t always a bad thing.
Have you ever seen this movie? Would you watch it? Let me know!