At last night's New Directors/New Films festival screening of the Romanian film, The Happiest Girl In The World, I found myself surprised by the content of the international festival hit. Given the premise of:
"When a plucky provincial duckling of a young lady wins a contest, she must travel with her parents to the buzzing metropolis of Bucharest to claim her prize."
I was expecting a tamer version of 'Little Miss Sunshine', the unexpected twist of the prize being a cameo for a commercial made this film much too real for me. Set against the backdrop of a commercial shoot, our heroine must navigate her needs against her parent's and also deal with the cruel world of commercial production. While it doesn't have the sharpest script, I couldn't look away because both me and my friend are very familiar with this nonsense world. In fact, at various points of the film, it was cringe worthy how painfully real the portrayals of commercial agencies and clients' set behavior were. It was just a relief to see the rest of the audience laugh at the absurdity of what goes on just to remind me we weren't sitting in on someone's cruel joke.