Whatever Makes You Happy is the first feature length offering from writer/director A.T. Sayre. In providing a no-holds-barred view of the ambivalence that can steadily boil to the surface in some relationships, Sayre is able to tell a story that is familiar but, with fresh branding and viewpoint that still keeps viewers consistently engaged and guessing.The film centers on Anna and Alex – played with subtle effectiveness by Rachel Delante and Tyler Peck. Anna is a grad school student majoring in literature and living with her lovably benign boyfriend Kevin – played by the equally effective Jon Miguel. We learn fairly early on that Anna is content with her life but, isn’t terribly excited by it. She meets Alex (a musician) through a mutual friend not knowing that the relatively chance encounter will quickly escalate into something a lot more serious.
The plot touches on many of the standard reference points that you’d expect to see in a romantic drama but, avoids the trap of over the top theatrics. Instead, each of the characters reveals only as much information at any given point as they’re prepared to which makes them all the more compelling.Sayre’s greatest strength is that he was able to tap a nerve that runs much deeper than the relationships between Anna and the two men in her life. He forces Anna, Alex, and Kevin to take a hard look in the mirror and at least ponder, if not answer, the questions: “What do you really want out of life?” and “How would you feel if you actually got it?”
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