‘Welcome to Happiness’ (2016) Official Trailer Sneak Peek
A small door in a children’s book author’s closet allows though who can enter to undo one regret from their past, though he himself has yet to see what’s on the other side.
Woody (Kyle Gallner) signs a lease to a new place with one stipulation: when the dot-matrix printer in the hall chugs out a name, he’s to let that person into the closet and use a small wood-carved door inside. His landlord Moses (Nick Offerman), senses the young man’s confusion and angst over what the door is, how it works, and why he can’t open it. Meanwhile, as Woody struggles in his relationship with his girlfriend Trudy (Olivia Thirlby) and has trouble overcoming writer’s block and dealing with an impatient agent, he grows frustrated that he is denied entrance to the clearly redeeming powers of the magical door.
Written and directed by Oliver Thompson in his film debut, this quirky indie movie might immediately seem like its borrowing a page from Being John Malkovich, but seems to stop at the door. Light and breezy, the trailer teases the recuperative capabilities of the closet and its connection to something grander, but is obviously a plot device meant to make Woody learn more about himself and his relationships without ever using it. A strong cast, including Keegan-Michael Key, give this a lot of promise, and there’s no denying the charms of the leads. Gallner, making the jump from television to movies, most recently seen in 2014’s American Sniper, is well cast as the lovable dorky writer, barely holding it together. Thirlby, who should be by all accounts a huge star by now but isn’t, is once again in a support role as the cute girl. Hopefully she’ll be given more to do than be that.
The premise of Welcome to Happiness seems suitably indie-esque enough and while the theme of a twenty-something overcoming fill-in-the-blanks issues is nothing new, there’s still plenty here to make it on out want to watch list.
Welcome to Happiness opens May 20, 2016.
Kyle Gallner, Olivia Thirlby, Nick Offerman