This afternoon I had the extreme good fortune to catch On the Edge of Happiness, which is kind of a movie and kind of simply a TV show. It’s film length but it’s shot as five episodes of a soap opera that doesn’t exist outside of these five episodes. The writer/director/producer was there and I hope to see him again tomorrow because I really want to tell him how much I loved this piece.

On the Edge of Happiness is set in a fictional Mississippi county, near the border with Tennessee, and features an intricately plotted and entertainingly delivered storyline. There are questions of paternity, unfaithful spouses, a wedding, intra-familial blackmail, betrayals of trust, land-grabbing schemes, ham-fisted acting, contradictory details, questionable timelines and a mysterious shooting and that’s just the first episode. The title card features blood-spattered roses, a biscuit and a beer tab.

The piece itself, taken as a whole, is half parody and half sincerely loving homage to the soap opera form. It got enthusiastic applause and I would dearly love to see five more episodes next year. It’s available online, though he takes it down when it’s being presented in theaters so it’s currently not able to be viewed.

I was also going to watch Hollywood, je t’aime, but twenty or thirty minutes in I got pulled out by work (I’m on-call this weekend, of course). Since I can’t fairly offer an opinion of the whole work, I’ll simply note that it had great production value and the star is a complete hottie. It also seemed not to think a hot star would make a good substitute for the character having an emotional life.

The title credits indicated that it likewise stars Chad Allen and I endorse pretty much anything involving him, even the “Tommy Westphall Universe” theory.