‘Happy Ending’ Review: Netflix’s Dutch Film Is A Rant About The Couple’s Inability To Express


As a story, the message of Happy Ending is simple: people should communicate. Things won’t just be understood, and at the end of the day, it becomes the fault of the person who hasn’t spoken up rather than the person who hasn’t picked up on the invisible cues. As a film, it is decently entertaining, but even the short runtime of an hour and a half feels like too much. This entire review is going to be a character rant about how they missed out on such important steps in their relationship, which created the present mess that they were trying to navigate.

First of all, we agree with Luna that bicycle flirting is foolproof, but it is also hazardous. On the other hand, we understand the awkwardness of trying to tell someone that you like them, but the film missed out on establishing an important difference between dating and relationships. Dating is about selective information assimilation, whereas a relationship is about honesty and commitment. A person who may not know how to tell someone they like them can be one of the most honest partners. There is always a certain psychology between one’s expressions or their inability to do so, and we would have liked it if Happy Ending had taken a deep dive into it.

Additionally, did anyone else feel dissatisfied with the character of Eve? She was supposed to be the catalyst that brought Mink and Luna’s problems to the surface. But we feel sad about how the story treats her as disposable. After all, Mink was not the only person who had been affected by Luna’s inability to communicate. Even Eve had been affected by it, and she was not even given her due for it.

All of this is making us think that Happy Ending is not a rom-com but a story of how Luna learns to communicate. After all, she suffered due to her inability to do so, and eventually, she neglected to consider how others were affected by her silence. We see that Mink is a supportive partner who is willing to listen to Luna, but the fact that she had not spoken to him and then gone behind his back showed how much she didn’t trust him. In fact, even Luna says to Eve that she is a lot more comfortable talking to her than to others. When Luna and Mink do break up, he says the exact problem is that she won’t talk to him.

We, as the audience, are also left confused about how Luna actually feels. She certainly loved Mink, but did those feelings extend to Eve as well, or were they just a means to an end? Her decision to try and get back with Mink felt a little out of the blue because of this very reason. Also, it was odd that they were all discussing their intimate problems with each other in this manner. We don’t mean the girls by that, but the fact that Mink told his friend, who was also invited to the girls’ dinner, where this discussion was continued. This talk doesn’t mix like that. But the Charlie’s Angels’ dinner was important and probably the most impactful scene of the movie, as it was here that it was brought up how the most pressing problems are often not discussed with our partners because it is their validation that we crave the most. It ties in very well with the ending, where, just like that, Mink decides to give the relationship another chance, and he and Luna sit together and talk like friends in a non-judgmental space.

We don’t hate Happy Ending, but it felt very one-dimensional in its approach. What Luna experienced is something that is being discussed more openly, as women find it difficult to be as happy as their partners, and the reasons for this are varied. But this film felt like it was made to soothe those troubled egos, as it failed to address the bigger problem and focused on the minority of the issue. Mink has been painted as a little too idealistic, especially when it comes to bringing Eve into their relationship. He said that he only did it for Luna’s sake, but that is not how this should have worked. Neither Mink nor Luna talked about what their limits were or how far they were willing to go, and finally, we are surprised that he never even raised an eyebrow at Luna’s enthusiasm for this whole thing. Something like this has the potential to change the dynamics of a relationship or bring a new angle to it, but all of that was very conveniently ignored by the writers. It wasn’t just Luna; even Mink had trouble talking about how he felt. The worst was how he missed out on how Luna used to be so zoned out after their encounter with Eve. Mink does come across as a very dense person, and we are surprised that it wasn’t addressed more in the film.

The problem with Happy Ending is that it wants everyone to be good. It refused to see people as complex beings who struggle to deal with societal privileges and expectations. After all, Luna’s shyness wasn’t the harshest crime, but if they had written Mink as someone genuinely inattentive, his character would have been bashed like anything. Therefore, it is nobody’s fault, and Eve is an egg-eating vegan, and things work out just fine.

Happy Ending carries an important message about communication, but it just fails to capture the entire picture. With a topic like this, set between couples, there are politics to the shyness exhibited by Luna, and unless the film was willing to explore them, it missed the mark. In light of that, her friends felt like compensatory characters to show that there is another side to not freely expressing feelings, and that is a “whole other type of woman” whose inability to express herself is related to love. These stereotypes, so cleverly disguised, had no place in a film like this. Happy Ending is just not what it should have been, and that is the sad conclusion.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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