The Most Happy Fella (1986)

Production Details


A lonely San Francisco waitress, Rosabella, has a mysterious secret admirer. After months of exchanging letters, she finally asks him to send her his picture. Fearing that she will not love him due to his old age and poor appearance, Tony — an elderly Italian-American vineyard owner from Napa — sends her the picture of his young, handsome ranch hand, Joe. When Rosabella finally visits Napa, tragedy occurs.

Tony gets in a car crash and nearly dies. While Rosabella is furious with Tony for deceiving her, she ultimately agrees to go through with their mail-order-bride agreement — but not before she has sex with the younger and handsomer hired hand, Joe, whose picture Tony had sent her. As Tony heals from his accident, Rosabella ends up truly falling in love with the kind, old man. When Rosa discovers that she is pregnant with Joe’s baby, however, things get more complicated. Can true love overcome the betrayal? Adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, They Knew What They Wanted, Loesser’s The Most Happy Fella is an ambitious “Broadway opera” with a dramatic and intensely personal love story at its heart.


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