What Makes You Happy – Princess Cyd (London Film Festival Review)

Rating:

Its not often you watch film about two family members who are just honest with each other, past the awkward small talk, they are happy to be in each other’s company and learn to appreciate each other, even if they don’t share similar interests.

After needing space from her Dad, 16 year old athlete Cyd decides to spend Summer in Chicago with her Aunt Miranda, who happens to be relatively famous author. They haven’t seen each other in years and Miranda tries to take the opportunity to get to know her niece. Both every different people, Miranda finds joy in books while Cyd prefers to listen to music and sunbath. During her stay, she meets local girl Katie. The two have an instant attraction and start to fall for each other over the summer. Miranda and Cyd also connect and begin to understand what makes the other happy, while also encouraging each to take risks.

Director and writer Stephen Cone gently weaves together a light bright story, with an exception of one dark moment. As Cyd questions Miranda’s way of living, she prefers to read a book than to be in a relationship and Cyd is happy going for a run and sunbathing. The connection they have, through Cyd’s mother, Miranda’s sister, who died is sad but not tragic, leaving room for a story about people connecting rather than grieving. They each go through their own private journeys, Cyd falling for a girl and Miranda opening up to the possibility that she may want to be with someone. The film has its confrontational moments but these are dwelled upon or used as plot device, it’s an argument that is resolved and the characters move on. Nothing is treated as a revelation; it is easy going throughout including Cyd’s attraction to Katie. Cyd does question her feelings and asks Miranda for advice but this too is taken with ease.

Cone actually said of his film that “this female-led excursion into Chicago became a love letter to women, a love letter to Chicago, a love letter to queerness.” which illustrates what the films is simply about, what makes a person happy.

Dir: Stephen Cone

Prd: Stephen Cone, Grace Hahn, Bryan Hart

Scr: Stephen Cone

Cast: Rebecca Spence, Jessie Pinnick, Malic White, James Vincent Meredith, Tyler Ross

DoP: Zoe White

Music: Heather McIntosh

Country: USA

Running time: 96 minutes

Save