Ariztical Entertainment has set a long lead for the DVD debut (Mar. 18) of director Rodney Evans’ film adaptation of Ken Urban’s stage play, The Happy Sad.
It is a smart move for a smart film that got its launch early last summer at the Frameline Film Festival and was then followed by a series of limited one-off theatrical engagements around the country … which is not all that uncommon for independently-produced films of this ilk. You make it, you live it … and you get out and work it. Ariztical is taking plenty of time to bang the promotional drums and “work it.”
The ARR works out to a leisurely 214 days and reported box office receipts thus far tally $8,395.
Filmmaker Rodney Evans has delivered an interesting romantic-drama about the interaction of two seemingly unrelated New York City couples — upwardly -mobile at that — who find, through the decisions they make, unexpected complications entering their staid little worlds.
What makes Evans approach to the subject even more compelling is that he not only knows his craft from the POV of the hands-on production side of it, but he also teaches the art as a professor with the Department of Film and Media Arts at Temple University. He knows his stuff and it shows.
Aaron (Charlie Barnett) and Marcus (Leroy McClain) have been in a relationship for going on six years. Now this should be a big red flag for just how stable that relationship is when suddenly Aaron suggests that they “explore” other opportunities, but still be a couple. How does that work?
Sure enough, Marcus takes his partner up on that not so little suggestion and hooks up with Stan (Cameron Scoggins) for an afternoon encounter. Now Stan — who we discover swings both ways — is actually dating a young woman named Annie (Sorel Carradine), who, as it turns out is frustrated to no end with where their relationship is going.
She turns to her friend Mandy (Maria Dizzia) for a little advice and ends up being seduced by her friend. Throw in a blind date with a reality show producer named Dave (Michael Nathanson) and even Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice couldn’t keep up with all of the assorted romantic encounters.
When Aaron discovers that Marcus has been “cheating” on him (hello, wasn’t it Aaron who started this all in the first place?) all hell breaks loose.
So how does this all work out … unless you are lucky enough to catch a screening of the film you will just have to wait until the Ariztical Entertainment DVD streets on Mar. 18. Love, sex and relationships, that’s what The Happy Sad is all about.
To download this week's complete edition of the DVD and Blu-ray Release Report: DVD & Blu-ray Release Report