H is for Happy

I treated myself to a creative date last week and saw the movie ‘H is for Happiness.’

Three things made the night extra special.

  1. The film screening was a fundraiser for SIDS and Kids and Bereaved Parent Support NT.
  2. It was held under the stars at the fabulous Deckchair Cinema.
  3. Barry Jonsberg introduced it and stayed around afterwards for a Q&A session.

For those who don’t know, the movie is based on Barry Jonsberg’s book ‘My Life as an Alphabet’ which was first published in 2013. I read it a couple of years ago and absolutely loved it.

The story is about twelve-year-old Candice Phee who, while completing an English school assignment , is also trying to help everyone around her (her teacher, her parents, the mean girl, her best friend) overcome the unhappiness in their lives. She does this in unique (and often hilarious) ways, with varying results.

Candice is a charming character. Her irrepressible honesty and positive view of people is refreshing. Though she grapples with some tough issues, the overwhelming sense of the film (and book) is hope.

I loved the Australian feel of the film, its bright colour palette and breathtaking cinematography.

The dress Daisy Axon wore in the film helped raise an extra $300 for the charities. While the initial plan was to auction it to the highest bidder, those at the q&a unanimously agreed that it should be donated to an appropriate film or children’s literature museum, and dug deep into their pockets anyway.

Barry Jonsberg, the book, the dress (isn’t it gorgeous?!) and I.

Barry said it was a dream come true to see the movie at the Deckchair. And just as he and the film makers had hoped, the audience was in tears, then laughing out loud, then in tears, then back to laughing again.

Read the book. See the film. Tell your friends.

I hope you like it as much as do.