Movie Details

Like many other made-for-TV biopics inspired by popular television series of yore, Come on Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story offers the spectacle of actors playing other actors playing different characters--and as such, those "characters" come off as more interesting than the "real" actors. Focusing exclusively on the five years (1970-1974) that The Partridge Family was in production, the story is told from the viewpoint of Danny Bonaduce (played by a pre-Desperate Housewives) Shawn Pyfrom), and accordingly is colored by the sentiments so often expressed by the real, irrepressibly outspoken Bonaduce. Upon landing the coveted role of Danny Partridge, young Bonaduce must contend with the jealousy of his abusive father Joseph (William Russ); all the while, Danny is a sidelines observer of the effect that overnight stardom has on his coworker David Cassidy (Keith Partridge), who (it says here) despises all the idolatry and yearns for a normal life. Rather touchingly, the film recounts the surrogate son-surrogate father relationship between Danny and actor Dave Madden (Michael Chieffo), who was genuinely fond of his younger costars despite the kid-hating irascibility of his "Reuben Kincaid" character. The film's highlight, which would be impossible to belief if it wasn't corroborated by witnesses, is the episode wherein Cassidy impulsively "kidnaps" Danny, whereupon both boys head off on a short journey of self-discovery; less easy to swallow is the scene which contrives a feud between the "Partridge" cast and the actors on the rival series The Brady Bunch (who are, interestingly enough, identified only by their character names and not their real names). Come on Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story made its ABC network bow on November 13, 1999. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi