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Happythankyoumoreplease: A Gently Worthless Script of Emotional Awakening

Sam (Josh Radnor) lives a slightly slummy version of sitcom-character leisure, his flirtatious lip-pursing in East Village bars financed by his short-fiction sales. (“Freelance writing” is defined herein as a career involving immaculate stubble, vertically stacked paperbacks, and occasional glancing at a laptop.) Sam’s routine is disturbed when he meets a young black child separated from his foster parents on the subway. Learning Rasheen’s history of bouncing between homes, Sam illegally adopts the moppet, using him as a pickup ice-breaker and outfitting him in band tees, like any NYC designer kid. Sam’s treatment of Rasheen as an accessory is believable of this callow character—but Happythankyoumoreplease uses child actor Michael Algieri in much the same way, as a docile instrument to trigger Sam’s emotional awakening. How I Met Your Mother star Radnor contrasts Sam’s end-of-20s taking-stock with his acquaintances’ B- and C-story threads, transitions generously greased by feeble folk-rock with intrusive, inappropriate lyrics (the movie eventually reveals a musical-theater heart, with love interest Kate Mara delivering Kander and Ebb’s “Sing Happy”). Malin Akerman dons a bald pate as alopecia’d Annie, Sam’s unlucky-in-love gal pal, while couple Mary Catherine (Zoe Kazan) and Charlie (Pablo Schreiber) uncover fresh banalities in the “NY or L.A.?” conversation. Arrested Development’s Tony Hale nearly overcomes the gently worthless script, playing Annie’s dork suitor, and convincingly transforming himself from toad to prince.

 
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