When Morris Bliss, a thirty-five year old, sleeps with his friend’s teenage daughter, he is put into a position where he slowly starts to realise things need to drastically change in his life. Jobless, still living with his widowed father in a small apartment and seemingly unable to follow his dreams to travel the world, his world slowly unravels around him until he takes charge of the problems, face the music and grows up.
This comedic film by Michael Knowles (One Night, Room 314) is a coming of age tale that is more realistic than one would like to think. With The Trouble with Bliss viewers are presented with a loser (Michael C. Hall) that gets lucky when an eighteen year old (Brie Larson) beds him. However, we soon realise that Morris Bliss is not exactly the type of guy you want to look up to. With a father (Peter Fonda) that isn’t very impressed by his son’s actions and who is getting slightly annoyed by the slacker attitude as Morris can’t follow simple instructions or do simple chores and the accidental fling with Andrea (Lucy Liu) who enjoyed it maybe a little too much, The Trouble with Bliss sets up the premise for a funny story.
From a personal perspective The Trouble with Bliss is a good film that brings into account the Dexter elements that Michael C. Hall is famous for, however this is not at all in the same light as the popular television series.
The Trouble with Bliss is a very artistic and meaningful film where the character growth is apparent immediately. This creative attribution to the film industry is a good change from horror for horror aficionados, because it’s slightly darker, but still funny and we aren’t watching some romantic comedy with Jennifer Aniston. The young and very talented Brie Larson brings that neurotic element to the screen and she is very sexy and quite upfront of her intentions. Lucy Liu is an older version of Andrea though, but she still has that certain something that makes her a great addition to the cast. Considering that the film didn’t make mainstream headlines, it definitely has that “let’s re-watch it” quality, especially when you’re in the mood for something else than the norm.
The ending on the other hand is slightly bland though, but leaves it open for interpretation from the viewer. However, I do feel that they could have added two extra minutes to the film to tie all the loose ends. We are presented with a film of growth and the comedic approaches of growing up, but there are some loose ends that takes away some of the intelligence of The Trouble with Bliss. That being said, it is still worth the watch and a great addition to a DVD collection. I particularly enjoyed the significance of the manner Morris slept though, in the beginning it is revealed that he sleeps in his clothes, however as the film progresses there are things he slowly, but surely does differently. This is just one of the tell-tale signs of the growth in the flick though, as there are many small things that the viewer will pick up during the film which will give indications of this. Another remarkable quality is the manner that The Trouble with Bliss subtly hint at the theme “all is not as it seems” or “don’t judge a book by its cover”, which adds to the intelligence of the film.
All and all I would recommend this movie to those people who have grown tired of watching the same things on television and who yearns to get something new on their screens. This film is a darker comedy, without the gore of a horror and without the cheesiness of a romantic comedy. It has just the right combination to make it a movie you’ll want to watch again.