Martin Freeman is, of course, no stranger to comedies, having starred in several over the years. Morena Baccarin has been funny in a number of roles, but hasn’t had the chance to do much straight comedy. That changes in this week’s romantic comedy Ode to Joy.
Baccarin plays Francesca, who one day meets Charlie (Freeman), a man who has cataplexy, a form of narcolepsy that causes him to pass out when he feels strong emotions, including joy or happiness. That makes him dating Francesca – or anyone else – kind of difficult, so he encourages her to start seeing his brother. But the connection between the two is strong, even if Charlie is reluctant because of his condition.
It’s a pretty traditional rom-com image used on the poster, which shows Francesca leaning in to give Charlie a kiss. But we get the sense there are complications through the copy that reads “Charlie has never been happier. And that’s the problem.”
It’s a charming little story on display in the first trailer. We meet Charlie and see his particular narcolepsy is triggered in moments where he feels joy or happiness. So he’s always falling asleep at the worst times and making things weird, which negatively impacts his dating life. When he meets Francesca he realizes she’s someone special but is afraid of what happiness will do to him, so he sets her up with his brother. That relationship turns out pretty well, but the connection between Charlie and Francesca never completely goes away, even as he starts dating Bethany.
Online and Social
There’s not a whole lot of information on IFC Films’ page for the movie, just the standard stuff. The studio gave it a bit of support on its brand social channels but was primarily focused on promoting other recent releases.
Advertising and Publicity
Nothing I’ve seen on this front.
Media and Press
The press activity here has been pretty light as well. IFC hosted an L.A. screening of the movie that featured a Q&A with the writer and director and some of the cast did a few interviews.
Given it stars two exceedingly charming and funny actors in a story based on an episode of “This American Life” I’m surprised there isn’t more attention being paid to the release. The lack of discernible press campaign means Baccarin and Freeman aren’t out there telling funny stories and ginning up interest, which hints to me there’s some reason IFC is letting this one go out with a whimper instead of a bang. Too bad since the movie looks breezy and entertaining and, let’s face it, I’ll watch these two in most anything.