This weekend I had the pleasure of seeing Not Another Happy Ending, possibly Glasgow’s first rom-com, at the closing night of the Edinburgh Film Festival. And while the experience as a whole was fantastic – especially the part where I saw Karen Gillan in the flesh – I found the film itself a tad underwhelming.
Karen Gillan plays Jane Lockhart, an author struggling to finish the follow-up to her wildly successful first novel; Stanley Weber is her publisher and, naturally, love interest. Gillan is always delightful and pulls off a genuinely troubled and awkward – rather than faux-quirky, as in so many rom-coms – female lead. Weber is suitably sexy.
It’s a beautifully made film, with a clear love for its Glasgow setting. It’s bright and colourful and fun. What lets it down is the script, which tries to pack in far too much story – and too many montages – into too little space.
The central romance is the love-hate variety which I could not be more sick of – it’s not just overdone but unhealthy. I don’t like films that encourage the idea that women fall in love with men who belittle and generally mistreat them. I understand that couples who hit it off from the start don’t generate much conflict, but really – there are better ways.
I went to see this film for the writing elements, which was a mistake – they are there, but they’re not particularly interesting or well-developed. It’s just a run-of-the-mill rom-com.
So if you like rom-coms, are a fan of Karen Gillan, and/or want to see Glasgow in bright, cheerful colours for once, Not Another Happy Ending comes recommended. It’s a whole lot of fun.