H IS FOR HAPPINESS PARENT REVIEW
It is quirky, it is delightful, and it also delves into heavy topics surrounding loss and family betrayal. And it is being marketed as a family film, so, is H Is For Happiness safe for kids to watch? Embracing the weird and wonderful that is the early teen years, this family film from Australia comes to Video on Demand worldwide September 18. As much as I adored the movie as a whole, H Is For Happiness does cover some heavy themes that might not be appropriate for all ages of kids. Here’s what you need to know about H Is For Happiness from a kid-friendly level.
About H Is For Happiness
Set in the colorful Australian coastal town of Albany, H IS FOR HAPPINESS is a classic feel-good film for all ages that will make you laugh, cry, and cheer with delight.
Based on the award-winning book My Life as an Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg, it is the genuinely heart-warming and unflinchingly honest story of one twelve-year-old’s determination to bring her family back from the brink and spark happiness in their lives.
Using an entirely unique approach, Candice Phee is an unforgettable heroine whose exploits will inspire and delight anyone who has faced the trials of adolescence and the heartbreak of family tragedy.
Runtime: 96 minutes
H Is For Happiness Parent Movie Review
H Is For Happiness is the quirky, loving, family movie that we might just need deep into 2020.
At least, some of us might need it.
Have you been holding back on letting go of a good cry?
This movie will get you there.
Are you looking for a sweet story that brings plenty of smiles through the tears?
H is for Happiness is that movie as well.
Candice Phee Is Fabulous
Candice Phee is the weird kid at school who develops a friendship with another weirdo, Douglas Benson From Another Dimension.
And you like her from the moment you meet her.
As the kids in Candice’s class work through a school project that assigns a letter to represent their lives, Candice also works on her dysfunctional family and their issues.
And they are some pretty deep and heavy issues at that.
Dad has been crushed by a business betrayal from his brother and Mom has never pulled out of her depression after the loss of their baby, Skye.
Candice just wants to save her family and goes through great lengths to do so, as only Candice Phee can.
Throw in some near-death experiences and a dash of Dolly Parton (because everything is better with Dolly!) and you have a character to remember.
Why You’ll Love H Is For Happiness
Smart, witty writing and directing as well as a gorgeous location and photography make this movie simply a joy to watch.
Shot on location in a small coastal Australian town brought the perfect setting and tone as background to this lovely and loving film.
The movie takes in a whole lot of normal family and childhood issues and handles them all with care: self and peer acceptance, depression, family dynamics, and child loss.
We also see how two tweens are handling crises in their lives. One head-on and direct, the other by dipping into a mythical world, something that parents can relate to in their own children.
But is H Is For Happiness safe for kids? Let’s talk about that.
Is H Is For Happiness Safe For Kids?
As mentioned above, there are some heavy moments in this film that may not make H is for Happiness appropriate for all ages.
Since this movie is being marketed to US audiences as a family film, I want to point some concerns out just in case these themes could be a problem in your family.
I’m calling it sexual, but really, it’s a couple of pre-teens kissing chastely. It’s age-appropriate and sweet, as is the entirety of the movie.
Add in a few scenes where inflatable breasts come into play and that’s why this warning exists. Not that I think it really needs it, but some parents do need this heads up.
Breasts (and the lack of them) are perfectly normal for kids this age to be concerned about and the subject is treated in a hilarious and adorable way.
Its completely fitting for a coming of age movie to address, so I don’t have problems with this inclusion.
But for the parents concerned about boob talk: there’s boob talk.
H Is For Happiness Safe For Kids: Language
Nothing really stands out here, even when discussing breasts as mentioned above.
They use the term breasts, not boobs, which means they did better than this reviewer. Ahem.
Swear words are omitted which makes H Is For Happiness kid-friendly on that level.
Plot Points: H Is For Happiness Safe For Kids Parent Movie Review
I won’t spoil any plot points here, but please note: H Is For Happiness does have some mega downer moments.
The scenes are handled beautifully and evoke a lot of empathy and emotion, but they are still pretty rough.
This could be a particular concern if your family has worked through depression issues or child loss.
If you have a sensitive child or extreme empath, you may want to prescreen this one before you allow them to watch with you.
Ultimately, H Is For Happiness is safe for kids and absolutely serves valuable messages in a beautiful and meaningful way. And (slight spoiler) we do end on a happy ending, as H truly is for Happiness.
This is a hopeful and mostly family-friendly film with just a few heavy moments to be aware of.
Children ages 8-11 could certainly watch this, but its more appropriate for the 12 and up crowd.
Patty Holliday is a movie critic, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews.