Terribly Happy is an interesting move entirely in Danish. The showing that we saw had a bizarre bit of Danish Film Festival propaganda about how cool Denmark was and how they were essentially the center of all things cultural, without actually seeming arrogant about it. It wasn’t really that bad but it was an interesting chaser right before the movie.
The basic premise of the film is that an out of favor cop from Copenhagen is sent to the middle of nowhere (and they spend like, the first three minutes of the film showing just how in the middle of nowhere it is) to be given a second chance and ‘do his time.’ The film states that it is based on ‘actual events’ however a careful search on my part could find absolutely no indication anywhere what those events were. I’ll explain below.
On the whole I enjoyed the movie. I found the actors and the plot moved at a reasonable clip and it had enough twists and turns that it easily drew you into it. The self described genre of the film is ‘Thriller’ and I found that appropriate. It has also been compared to Twin Peaks meets Northern Exposure. I think it has a little bit more Northern Exposure than Twin Peaks, because while there are no supernatural elements they do do a very good job of portraying just what life would be like in a very small Danish town in the middle of Southern Jutland (which is apparently the middle of nowhere.)
So, I spent like 30 minutes looking everywhere I could find on what the hell these ‘actual events’ were. The movie was based on a Danish novel called Frygtelig lykkelig by Erling Jepsen. After googling all of these people there was nothing mentioned about the actual events. Was it just a few events, like the fact that people died and they made wild speculation about it, or was it pretty damn close to the bizarre plot of the movie? The reason I wanted to look this is up is because, quite frankly, there is absolutely no explanation about how anything is discovered.
I know I said spoilers, but I don’t want to give too much away. But people DIE in this thing and the bodies are discovered, and the killer and many people involved end up going on their merry way (and yes, that’s not by itself the biggest spoiler of the damn movie….). So how did anyone see anything? As near as we can tell, the little girl who witnessed everything might have put the pieces together when she grew up and written a tell all or gone to court?