H Is For Happiness Review: A Quirky Film Perfect For Preteens


H Is For Happiness is a quirky and sometimes fun movie that is sure to be a hit for the preteen crowd. Whimsical but real at the same time, it teaches the lesson that while things might not always be perfect, there is a way to make the best of them.

h is for happiness poster

There is no person on this Earth that is happy all the time. Happiness comes and goes, and that is what H Is For Happiness is all about. A young girl, Candace, feels like her family has forgotten how to be happy. Her baby sister’s death has thrown her mother into a downward spiral of depression, and her Uncle and father are no longer on speaking terms. 

She decides that she is going to help them find their happy again, no matter what it takes. She launches scheme after scheme, but none of them turn out quite like she wants them to. Along the way, Douglas Benson (from another dimension) find his way into her life. This is where the movie goes a tad off track, sticking in the side plot of their love story. However, the love story between the two young teenagers is actually quite heartwarming. 

h is for happiness candace douglas

Douglas becomes an essential part of the story after coming to dinner at Candace’s house with her family. As time goes on, Candace begins to realize that perhaps bringing happiness back to her family is going to be harder than she thought. 

During all of this she is working on a school project where she must come up with something that has to do with her life for each letter of the alphabet. For example, M is for Mourning due to the loss of her sister. There is a “mean girl” that is always putting Candace down. But at the same time, she tells her she thinks she has the perfect life. Which Candace most certainly, does not. That goes to show that you never know what others might be going through.

The movie comes together in a brilliant final performance disguised as a show at school, and yes, it gave me some chills. It is quirky and bizarre, but there is no way you can’t love it! Especially after becoming invested in the lives of Candace, Douglas, Mother, Father, and Rich Uncle Brian. If you don’t have a smile on your face during this part, you have no soul. There, I said it. 

h is for happiness phee family

Overall Thoughts

H Is For Happiness has its morbid moments, its depressing moments, its funny moments, and its quirky moments. You might think that would make a movie end up all over the place but somehow, it all works. This bright and colorful film is sure to be eye pleasing for everyone who watches it. And although it is clearly more for the preteen audience, there is enough there to hold the attention of adults as well.

It is whimsical but also real at the same time. H Is For Happiness teaches the lesson that while things might not always be perfect, there is a way to make the best of them. In the words of Candace Phee herself, “Families are fragile, but mine did not die when Sky did. Maybe it won’t be happiness all the time but we’ll be OK.”

About H Is For Happiness

Set in the colorful Australian coastal town of Albany, H IS FOR HAPPINESS is a classic feel-good film for all ages that will make you laugh, cry, and cheer with delight. Based on the award-winning book My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg, it is the genuinely heart-warming and unflinchingly honest story of one twelve-year-old’s determination to bring her family back from the brink and spark happiness in their lives.

H Is For Happiness releases on September 18th!

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