Happy, Texas is a delightful and positive comedy that will leave you in a cheerful mood. It’s funny throughout with a couple of truly hilarious and quite memorable scenes. We will be following two escaped inmates who end up in the small Texan town of Happy. From there, things start getting strange. This is a pretty straightforward situational comedy hedging its bets on a charismatic cast. I just loved Steve Zahn and William H. Macy here along with a couple of other familiar faces.
The pacing is also great and with a runtime of just ninety minutes, Happy, Texas is a great movie to kickstart your movie night in the right way. Additionally, the story keeps twisting in the most unusual and oftentimes hilarious ways. And although none of this should make any sense, somehow it does. Unpretentious and honest, this is a movie you’re going to remember. I know I sure did after all this time.
After some hard labor, three inmates are on their way back to prison. However, their transport flips over and all three of them grab this opportunity to run away. Harry and Wayne are now fugitives on the run from the law. They steal a van and head towards freedom only to be pulled over by Chappy, a talkative sheriff of the small town of Happy, Texas. Instead of arresting them he mistakenly identifies them as two guys who were already on their way to his little town. And this is where things get complicated.
If you’ve seen one mistaken identity movie, you’ve seen them all, am I right or what? Still, this will win you over in heartbeat. Now that we got that out of the way, I can’t resist diving into the deep end. Although Happy, Texas is a definition of a happy-go-lucky comedy with that positive atmosphere that will make you believe in the world, there’s something far more sinister beneath the surface. Depending on your phase in life, you might see it as phenomenal comedy, as did I all those years ago, or as a truly depressing statement about people and our society.
Just take the criminal, gay and beauty pageant elements and you can immediately see how something just doesn’t add up. Especially when you consider the ending of the movie. Although I might have gone too far in analysis and started seeing patterns that weren’t really there. Think of it as a more lighthearted version of Little Miss Sunshine.
Director: Mark Illsley
Writers: Ed Stone, Mark Illsley, Phil Reeves
Cast: Steve Zahn, Jeremy Northam, William H. Macy, Ally Walker, M.C. Gainey, Ron Perlman
Fun Stuff: The movie is taking place in Texas but it was actually shot in Piru, California.