Review: Happy End?!

Verena Wüstkamp in Happy End?!

Happy End?! is in German. It’s a 2014 Wolfe Video film, which clues you in immediately that it’s a lesbian love story. It’s similar to the hetero love story with a sad ending that you’ve seen many times before, but between women. Don’t worry – the ending isn’t tragic, but it is sad.

Lucca (Sinha Melina Gierke), a hard working young woman just accepted to Harvard Law School, wanders into the aquarium in the middle of the night when she finds an open door. She’s caught and sentenced to community service for her crime. Her community service will be at a hospice.

Lucca’s overly involved father (Sascha Tschorn) is dismayed by this. He has no idea what is coming.

At the hospice Lucca meets Valerie (Verena Wüstkamp). Valerie makes muffins for her friend Herma (Zenzi Faust) and laces them with weed for pain.

The hospice director, Sabine (Madlen Kaniuth), puts Lucca to work on an Excel spreadsheet, but Lucca keeps finding ways to watch what Valerie is doing. She learns that Valerie sings in a lesbian bar at night, where a handy supply of willing groupies keep her sex life going. Lucca follows her there.

I loved the bartender (Meike Gottschalk) almost more than the main characters. Mostly drunk and depressed, she somehow managed to light up the screen each time she was in a scene.

Verena Wüstkamp in Happy End?!

When Valerie’s friend Herma dies, the real adventure begins.

Sinha Melina Gierke in Happy End?!

Valerie snatches Herma’s ashes from under her family’s nose and runs with them to a special spot where she knew Herma wanted to be. Her family wanted Herma in a place she hated. Lucca gets pulled into the adventure while dragging her feet.

With cops, Herma’s family, and Lucca’s father all after them, the two women still manage to find the spot for the burial and fall in love while doing it.

When they get back home, we learn the part of the story that creates the sad ending. The ending is sad, but also full of hope and optimism. It isn’t the plan that Lucca had in mind for her life, but it’s a beautiful plan.

This isn’t a ground breaking story. It’s a sweet, tender story about all kinds of love and about figuring out who you really are. But, if you’re wearily scrolling through a list of movies looking for something decent to watch, this film is not a bad choice.

Happy End?! was written and directed by Petra Clever. I’m not clear on why you need the ?! at the end of the title to find this movie, but there are several other films by the same or a similar name, and using ?! will lead you to the right film.

I stumbled onto Happy End?! on Hulu, and it is available from Amazon Video and on DVD from Wolfe Video.

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