H is for Happiness is a delightful watch thanks largely to its main character, Candice (Daisy Axon). This Australian film from Director John Sheedy brings positivity back. Is H is for Happiness kid friendly? While generally free from the typical kid taboos like language, violence, and sexual content, H is for Happiness does address heavy topics. However, Candice’s charisma and hope resonates with the audience.
Is H is for Happiness Kid Friendly?
H is for Happiness is a refreshing take on making the best of your circumstances even when things are looking grim. Candice gets a lot of eye rolls from teachers and students, but she doesn’t seem to mind. Nothing will break her optimism. Her family seems broken after the death of her baby sister due to SIDS with her mother battling depression and a chasm between her father and Rich Uncle Brian.
When new friend Douglas Benson from Another Dimension comes into 12-year-old Candice’s life, he gives Candice hope that maybe she can fix her family.
There is a damn and a couple of hells thrown in, but other than that there is no profanity.
Some scenes that may be hard for kids include talking about the death of Candice’s sister and the grief from the family. Also Candice attempts to drown herself to bring the family back together. Douglas makes Candice an inflatable bra, so there is some discussion about chest size.
There is some bullying at Candice’s school and one character calls her SN for Special Needs as an insult. There is some awkward kissing amongst young characters but nothing sexual. In one scene Candice’s mother is angry at her and throws a cup at her. There is also a gross vomit scene due to seasickness.
H is for Heartwarming
H is for Happiness brings hope without sugarcoating the bad either. Candice’s attitude may be unrealistic for some, but that kind of positivity just may turn someone around and bring them joy.
Based on the novel My Life As An Alphabet by Barry Jonsberg, H is for Happiness weaves in Candice’s story with letters, because of an assignment she is given in class. It’s interesting to note the differences in two films described as coming of age stories – H is for Happiness and Cuties. These are two vastly different films with characters the same ages.
They both describe real-life adolescent problems, they both use fantasy elements to tell their story, and they both discuss trauma. The tones are contrasting, but H is for Happiness is the one that leaves you feeling hopeful. It’s also one that kids can watch. I’d recommend H is for Happiness for kids ages 10 and older.
Bright color and outstanding supporting characters balance the eccentric with the melancholy. H is for Happiness takes you on the peaks and valleys.
H is for heartwarming. The beautiful shots and scenery of Australia mixed in with Candice Phee’s quirky personality allows audiences to go on this heartwarming ride. Candice struggles with how to put her family together, but she doesn’t struggle with how she chooses kindness.
I want to be Candice Phee when I grow up.
H is for Happiness is on VOD and Digital now!