Happy 40th is an engrossing, festival-winning drama about Sophia, a woman turning 40. Sophia invites her three best friends over for her first weekend of celebration and reunion since her self-imposed two-year isolation after a car accident left her paralyzed. During the party, these lifelong friendships and her marriage will be taken to the breaking point due to revelations of betrayal, resentments, and anger.
Director Madoka Raine's engrossing and festival-winning debut feature, Happy 40th, is a female-centric spin on the best friend's weekend. Sophia invites three lifelong friends for a weekend away at a cabin to help celebrate her 40th birthday. She has been living in self-imposed isolation following an accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheelchair. The accident and the wheelchair have transformed Sophia from a happy vibrant woman into a woman who is afraid to even leave the house.
Sophia's husband, Ben is attending the party, too, as he's taken on the role of caretaker, driven by guilt, having been responsible for the car accident which paralyzed Sophia. Over the course of the weekend, an unthinkable betrayal forces the group of friends to re-evaluate long-held beliefs and re-examine assumptions that are, painfully, no longer valid. Sophia was determined to re-enter society, using her 40th birthday as a way to help make it happen. But this painful betrayal once again throws Sophia's life into upheaval, and when the birthday celebration is over, she is forced to face a life-changing decision.
In this assured and even-handed directorial debut, Raine's drama pokes and prods at fragile relationships to reveal uncomfortable truths about the secrets we keep from each other, and from ourselves.