Film review: Not Another Happy Ending

Karen Gillan in Not Another Happy Ending. Picture: comp
Karen Gillan in Not Another Happy Ending. Picture: comp
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Closing the 67th Edinburgh International Film Festival at the Festival Theatre last night, Not Another Happy Ending is the latest homegrown title trying to breathe new life into the all too dreich Scottish film industry.

Star Karen Gillan was in town to add a touch of glamour to the World Premiere, dodging raindrops on the red carpet alongside co-stars, Stanley Weber, Gary Lewis and Kate Dickie.

Gillan plays Jane Lockhart, a struggling Glasgow-based writer working on her first novel. When her book is selected for publication by Tom Duval (Weber), Jane and Tom revel in their charity shop-chic fashion sense, jump on top of bins to impress each other and hang out in trendy cafes.

Soon after Jane meets her new screenwriter boyfriend, Willie (Henry Ian Cusick), she finds that her happiness is preventing her from completing a follow-up book. Tom must now make Jane miserable if she’s ever to complete her second novel.

Like other recent efforts attempting to show that Scottish filmmaking can revolve around more than just drugs, drink and depression, including the woeful You Instead (2011) and Fast Romance (2011), Not Another Happy Ending places its characters in a heightened reality.

Jane’s world is one where her fictitious central character, Darsie, comes to life in the shape of Amy Manson to offer advice on her relationship with Tom, while the prize in a pub quiz is two flights to America and tickets to Disneyland.

Jettisoning anything resembling the real world or logic, David Solomons’ script focuses on Jane and Tom’s path to romance at the expense of its minor characters.

Some attempts are made to flesh out Jane’s backstory with the introduction of her absentee father, Benny (the ever-reliable Gary Lewis), while Tom’s schoolteacher pal, Roddy (Iain De Caestecker), steals every scene he’s in.

Not Another Happy Ending won’t convert any non-rom-com fans to the genre, but if the reason it exists is to make Glasgow look great on the big screen and ensure the main couple get together, then it’s done its job.