Another Happy Day: A Lesson on Family Pain

There are some pieces of art that just hit you in all the right places. That’s how I felt when I saw “Another Happy Day” at Sundance last year.

The film, set in Annapolis, MD and loaded with an A-list cast including Ellen Burstyn, Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore, Kate Bosworth and Thomas Haden Church, tackles one family’s terrain of emotional landmines that have given rise to a “primal web of resentments and recriminations.”  

The tone of the film is anything but happy, and yet there are so many moments of indelible humor, I couldn’t help but find myself smiling and laughing throughout it. Like the scene when the mother (played by Ellen Barkin) is duking it out with her son (played by the mesmerizing Ezra Miller):

Mother: “Get out, you son of a bitch!”
Son: “You just insulted yourself, Mom.”

The film serves a painfully honest example of what happens to a family unit when conflicts, feelings and memories are repressed and buried, and judgment is couched in every smile. The result is anything but resolved and healthy.

During the holidays, if you find your family driving you a little bit nuts, I highly recommend checking it out:)

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