The Happening

The Happening ★★★½

As far as I'm concerned, The Happening might be the most realistic and human disaster film I've ever seen.
All the characters are eccentric neurodivergent weirdos and I love it.
Most people criticize this film for having dumb characters and bad dialogue.
Yes, the characters in this film do make some questionable choices and not all of them make sense but that's what makes them realistic as humans are not rational beings.
We do and say stupid shit all the time, I have heard people say things that are a thousand times dumber than anything in this film.
We live in a world where Donald Trump got elected as president, we no longer have any right to call the characters in The Happening dumb.
Eccentric, yes.
But who isn't?
Everyone is weird in their own way, everyone has their own weird obsessions (math, science, hot dogs) and we all process the insanity in front of our eyes in our own unique weird ways.
If anything The Happening is actually quite realistic in its portrayal of how weird humans can be in a crisis.
Everything turns into complete chaos and we rarely have a god damned second to properly process and react to the situation in a logical way while under stress in the middle of a crisis.
We just have to go off our gut and hope that we'll make it out alive by desperately trying to gain control of an uncontrollable situation and by constantly checking the news for new information that might help us in how to react to the crisis.
This film just takes that and pushes it into a beautifully absurd situation that is equal parts hilarious and melancholic.
The outcome is an off-beat comedy horror with a weirdly effective emotional core.
I love Elliott's and Alma's relationship problem, how they are experiencing them as this big thing and how it's revealed to ultimately be just this mundane and meaningless thing that is easily overcome.
It's basically the perfect summation of our normal everyday lives, they are mundane and meaningless in the grand scheme of things but they are important to us because they are our mundane problems.
Life may be meaningless but only if we decide not to give it meaning, as long as we feel that what we're doing and going through is important to us then it has all the meaning and importance it needs.
It's a quiet but effective and life affirming celebration of the absurdity of our mundane existence in all its forms.
The sequence at the end where Elliot and Alma decide to leave the safety of their hiding places and walk out into uncertain death just to be with each other one last time never fails to leave me on the verge of tears.
It's such a beautiful moment of pure love and human stupidity and it just hits me right in the feels.
I may laugh at many of the film's iconic
funny moments (and I will never believe they weren't 100% intentionally funny) but it's the characters and their beautifully mundane absurd drama that keeps me coming back again and again.

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