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Legacy Review

The Happiest Girl in the World (2009)

The Happiest Girl in the World is a simple, linear film taking place in one day and mostly one location. Despite its humility, I was on its comic and dramatic wavelength for most of its runtime, and got a pretty big kick out of it.

Delia is a teenager who wins a promotional contest for a juice brand. Her prize is a car, and she gets to appear in a commercial for the drink. This film tracks the day of the filming. What starts as a promising experience becomes gradually more dehumanizing as the day passes. Meanwhile, Delia’s parents are intent on selling the car she won to invest in expanding their house into rental property.

The film unfolds slowly: It is occasionally uncomfortable, occasionally blackly comic, and often both. A runner about Delia having to chug a bottle of juice grows funnier and grosser every time.

A few of the threads don’t go anywhere or become a bit repetitive: An older man briefly hits on Delia and we never see him again, and it’s a bit of a contrivance for the parents’ argument with Delia to happen simultaneous with the filming. But the whole thing flows well enough that it’s hardly a drag.

The Happiest Girl in the World (its title, of course, ironic) doesn’t really hide its themes about how capitalism drives, commoditizes, and ultimately ruins everything it touches. On that front, the movie hasn’t aged a a day in 13 years.

Is It Good?

Good (5/8)

Note: This review was originally published elsewhere. Please excuse brevity or inconsistencies in style. If you have questions or feedback, please leave a comment or contact me.


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