Who hasn’t watched the steamy threesome that lies at the center of Gaspar Noe’s Love (2015)? It is probably the first time that an alternate sexual encounter of such nature was bravely held up before the audience in an almost pornographic manner, giving voice to the unspoken desires about trying out a menage a trois. While the elaborate coital sequence is still up for debate about its contribution to cinema as art, Happy Ending (2023) – written and directed by Joosje Duk – presents us with an almost similar introduction to the story of Luna (played by Gaite Jansen) and Mink (played by Martijn Lakemeier).

This couple is celebrating their first year anniversary of being in a relationship, and to spice up their sex life – which is already quite active – they decide to try out a threesome. After scouring through dating apps and trying to approach people at clubs, they chance upon a common friend, Eve (played by Joy Delima), who agrees to their offer. It is important to mention here that Luna has been regularly faking her orgasm for a year now and believes that trying out something different in bed would help her arrive at it better.

The night of the threesome sees Luna, Mink, and Eve first awkwardly, then passionately, engaged in having sex until Eve actually helps Luna climax when Mink has passed out on the sofa. This feeling enchants Luna and rolls into a situationship with Eve while maintaining the facade of a happy-go-lucky relationship with Mink. Will Luna ever be able to talk about her sexual needs with Mink? Unlike most romcoms, Happy Ending (2023) doesn’t head for the ending you probably see coming as a rom-com fan. This is why it stands out to me.

At the heart of the story is the need to talk about sex and sexual preferences among everyone, whether or not they are getting laid – from kinks to orgasms. While Sex Education (2019 – ) has opened up pop culture’s eyes to the spectrum of gender and sexualities, we are yet to wholly embrace the talk of sex on the big screen, even though everyone in their adulthood is actually constantly talking about it (believe it or not!).

Happy Ending (2023) participates in this conversation and takes in its stride the queerness that underscores Luna’s situationship with Eve. Also, there is some mention of hookups, impotence, and pre-relationships. This rom-com oozes playful sexual energy throughout and manages to reach the G-spot of modern relationships and multiple female orgasms.

Happy Ending (2023) Movie Review - HOF
Joy Delima, Martijn Lakemeier, and Gaite Jansen in Happy Ending (2023)

The theme of female camaraderie is also notable throughout its plot. Luna’s friend from work gifts her a sex toy as an anniversary gift and bakes her female genitalia-themed cupcakes after she learns that Luna has finally climaxed. They surround her as she tries to get over a heartbreak and cheer for her every step. To put it simply, it is a wholesome display of female friendships and the joy it brings on the screen. I must also mention here that, unlike most romcoms, Happy Ending (2023) dismisses the trope of a queer best friend to the protagonist.

Any rom-com is fueled by the chemistry between its leads. Jansen and Lakemeier effortlessly step into the shoes of a young couple, swooning in love and desires. They bring to the screen an easy chemistry that makes their relationship believable. However, the quick, flirtatious affair that Jansen’s character shares with Delima’s character brings charm to the screenplay. The three of them also make the idea of a threesome convincing and easy because of the sheer fun they seem to have in pleasuring and being pleasured by one another, although, if you are watching this movie just for the sex scenes, you may not be so impressed.

A widely popular reel featuring Indian actress Vidya Balan’s explosive statement about women wanting, loving, and needing ‘it’ on the popular television chat show Koffee with Karan hosted by Karan Johar keeps making rounds on the internet. But it isn’t enough to drive home the idea that female orgasms are different from male orgasms, and they are as important, if not more, for a healthy relationship. Happy Ending (2023) makes for an essential watch, especially with your partner, if you have been unable to broach the taboo topic of sex in your relationship. Otherwise, it is an easy, breezy rom-com that will leave you feeling almost satisfied to the brim.

★★★½

Read More: Everything Coming to Netflix in September 2023

Happy Ending (2023) Movie Links: IMDb
Happy Ending (2023) Movie Cast: Gaite Jansen, Martijn Lakemeier, Claire Bender
Happy Ending (2023) Movie Genre: Comedy, Romance | Runtime: 1h 32m
Where to watch Happy Ending (2023)

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