Had heard a lot of great things about 'The Happiest Days of Your Life' from family friends and trusted critic reviews. The idea, of an all-boys and all-girls uniting as one, sounded like it would be really entertaining and having two acting greats in Alastair Sim and Margaret Rutherford (both joys to watch in pretty much everything they're in, have seldom known them to be any less than bright spots) in the same film proved very difficult to resist.
Watching it, 'The Happiest Days of Your Life' proved to be every bit as great as hoped and more. Actually one of the best and funniest films seen recently (school culture and life has seldom being more observantly, slyly, charmingly or hilariously depicted), and as over the top as it sounds to some that is not an exaggeration. Of my recent viewings, there has been a mix of brilliant, great, very good, good, decent, average, mediocre and terrible (so basically hit and miss), 'The Happiest Days of Your Life' really stood out and in a brilliant way. It deserves every ounce of the praise given to it, yet to me it is actually deserving to be given more credit and exposure.
Both Sim and Rutherford are on top form, with comic timing so expertly and knowing that most would only wish of having. Rutherford especially is superb and shares a dream of a chemistry with Sim, as they bounce off each other in a way that is never less than edge-of-the-seat riveting. They and their chemistry are what makes this film and one does wish that they were in more films together. That does not mean that the rest of the cast should be overlooked, because Joyce Grenfell is particularly splendidly dotty and the support from Guy Middleton and Richard Wattis sparkles.
Also sparkling is one of the wittiest, most beautifully structured and funniest scripts in the history of British comedy from personal opinion, one chock-full of sophistication and hilarious lines that the laughter is practically non-stop and not once does it feel stale or lose momentum. On top of being that entertaining, the increasingly frenetic antics never become confusing or overplayed, things may get a little chaotic at the end but that was clearly the intent and it was fun to watch.
The story is slight and simple but there is not an air of contrivance or over-predictability, and everything feels cohesive. It's directed with verve and class by Frank Launder, it moves at a lively pace meaning that the short length doesn't ever feel long and it's pleasing visually without being stage-bound.
Overall, a wonderful film that made me happy. As one can guess the main reasons to watch it are Sim, Rutherford and the script. 10/10 Bethany Cox
Two schools for the price of one