Review: ‘WELCOME TO HAPPINESS’ is a quirky guide through what-if.

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WELCOME TO HAPPINESS
Opening In Theaters & On Demand May 20thwelcome to happiness poster

What if you had the option to change a single moment in your past? Would you take it? We all think at some point or another, “If only I hadn’t said/done that, things would be so different!” But, do we ever think about the ripple effect of taking back that action? In Oliver Thompson‘s new festival favorite, we’re plunged into a world where this very choice is presented to a select few.welcome to happiness kyle gallner

In WELCOME TO HAPPINESS, Woody (Gallner), a children’s author, rents a strange apartment from his landlord, Moses (Offerman). There’s a magical door in Woody’s closet that allows those who go through it to erase mistakes from their past. While he was once happy to facilitate the passage of the random strangers summoned to his apartment, Woody soon begins to question why he himself is not allowed to go through.

welcome to happiness nick offermanOliver Thompson‘s duel role as writer and director suits this indie gem to a T. Stylistically vibrant and charming, WELCOME TO HAPPINESS is something akin to ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND in look and quirk factor, but most assuredly has its very own unique voice. The colorful cinematography is a brilliant reflection of each character’s momentary mood. The plot has intrinsically intertwined story lines and is full of surprisingly insightful glee all while tackling the ghost of depression. Thompson has achieved quite the feat, no doubt. welcome to happiness still brendan sexton III and

Kyle Gallner‘s performance is honest and down to earth. This might be some of his best work, although he’s always a solid performer. Nick Offerman gets the opportunity to break free from his sardonic persona to tackle a more gentle character. Given the task, he absolutely shines. It’s nice to see this side of him. Olivia Thirlby is a wonder no matter the role and Brendon Sexton III‘s ever discontented presence it perfect for this film. The cast from top to bottom is a true delight.  WELCOME TO HAPPINESS is an immensely thoughtful film without ever taking itself too seriously. This is a rare find. You can catch the movie in theaters and On Demand this Friday, May 20th. Take a peak at the trailer below!

WELCOME TO HAPPINESS Opens May 20th

The film has been awarded ‘Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking’ at the Newport Beach Film Festival, ‘Excellence in Producing’ and ‘Producers Choice’ at the International Festival of Cinema, ‘Best Narrative Feature’ at the deadCENTER Film Festival, as well as ‘Best Ensemble Cast’ at the Phoenix Film Festival. 

Written & Directed by Oliver Thompson

Produced by Bay Dariz, Oliver Thompson, Molly C. Quinn, and Kyle Gallner

Starring
Kyle Gallner (Veronica MarsAmerican Sniper)
Olivia Thirlby (Juno)
Nick Offerman (NBC’s Parks and Recreation)
Molly C. Quinn (ABC’s Castle)
Brendan Sexton III (AMC’s The Killing)
Josh Brener (HBO’s Silicon Valley)
Keegan-Michael Key (Comedy Central’s Key and Peele)
Paget Brewster (CBS’s Criminal Minds)
Frances Conroy (FX’s American Horror Story)

Review: ‘UNCLE NICK’ is not your typical holiday fare.

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Presents

Uncle Nick poster

Oh, the holidays. A time for an overabundance of food, gifts, parties… and family. Inevitably, someone is going to get a dinner role thrown at them, or maybe that only happens in my family. In the end, love or hate each other, spending time with the people you grew up with will lead to some of the best and worst moments of your life. Brian Posehn still from Uncle Nick

That voice you know so well, that massive stature, that snarky wit. All the things that make Brian Posehn the perfect choice to play the title character in Chris Kasick‘s new Christmas family fiasco film, UNCLE NICK. Nick is an alcoholic and depressed individual who is dreading attending Christmas Eve at his younger brother Cody’s new cougar wife’s house. With his brass balled sister, her adorably down-to-earth husband, his tech obsessed nephew, and over-sexed niece, shit is going to get real. Trying desperately to not hold his tongue, Nick runs through all the inappropriate behaviors expected from “that one family member.” But in reality, could he be the only normal one in the bunch? Probably not. Cast still Uncle Nick

With an outstanding ensemble cast including Paget Brewster, as pristine pharma saleswoman and new sister-in-law, Missi Pyle as Nick’s sister, Michelle, is an awesome reflection of the no-filter nonsense I like to add to my own family dynamic. A little crass and a little class, know your surroundings I always say. Scott Adsit as her husband Kevin is a perfect example of a not uptight, go with the flow, funny guy… with a passion for podcasting, because, why not. Melia Renee as new niece Valerie and grossly the object of Nick’s fantasies, doesn’t make it easy to resist her daddy issues. Jacob Houston and nephew Marcus is the epitome of 16 with his face in his laptop, video game, or phone the entire film plus a dash of volatile sarcasm thrown in for good measure. Beau Ballinger plays Nick’s younger brother Cody, whose former childhood shenanigans cause the animosity that Michelle and Nick still hold, and for the right reasons, trust me. And of course, Brian Posehn, the man himself. I don’t think this man can be unfunny. He captures this role with so much ease, whether you’re laughing at him or with him, rolling your eyes or cringing, his performance is brilliant.Uncle Nick 10 cents beer night still

Mike Demski’s script is just cool. Structurally surprising, he gives us a history lesson in Cleveland baseball intertwined with the narrative as a juxtaposition to the plot. I love me some baseball and somehow, I had never heard this story, and boy is it gold. The dialogue is quippy and sardonic, perfect for the holiday script. Uncle Nick works on many levels. It is not what you’re expecting going in and that’s what makes it great. Unapologetically in your face, do not bring kids to this film. In one way or another, you’ll relate to it, for better or worse.

Lewd, drunken Uncle Nick (Brian Posehn, Mr. Show, The Sarah Silverman Program) stumbles his way through his brother’s cookie cutter-family’s annual Christmas gathering in the hopes of scoring with a super-hot party guest. But the arrival of his equally crass sister coupled with  Nick’s liquor-fueled faux pas cause family secrets to bubble to the surface that might spell disaster for the whole clan before the night is over. Presented by Errol Morris, UNCLE NICK is a raucously funny comedy of inappropriate behavior, uncomfortably interrupted trysts, and a monumental over serving of ten-cent beers.

In Theaters Nationwide December 4th, 2015

THE ANTI-CHRISTMAS MOVIE OF THE YEAR!

UncleNickMovie