Happiness (1998)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The lives of many individuals connected by the desire for happiness, often from sources usually considered dark or evil.

Rating: Unrated (for explicit dialogue and some visuals relating to aberrant sexual behavior)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Todd Solondz
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 27, 1999
Trimark Pictures


as Joy Jordan

as Andy Kornbluth

as Bill Maplewood

as Helen Jordan

as Lenny Jordan

as Ann Chambeau

as Trish Maplewood

as Diane Freed

as Mona Jordan

as Billy Maplewood

as Rhonda

as Joe Grasso

as Johnny Grasso

as Timmy Maplewood

as Chloe Maplewood

as Psychiatrist

as Detective Berman

as Courteous Waiter

as Angry Picketer

as Radical Picketer

as Crying Teacher

as Consoling Teacher

as Student No. 1

as Student No. 2

as Student No. 3

as Hysterical Woman

as Doctor

as Betty Grasso

as Police Detective

as Zhenia's Mother

as Joy Jordan
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Happiness

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Critic Reviews for Happiness

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (18)

I, for one, would be thrilled to see Solondz's heart open in his future work. But it would be a mistake to flinch from the greatness of Happiness in the meantime.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Exhibits an almost pitch-perfect balance between condescension and compassion.

Full Review… | October 20, 2009
Lessons of Darkness

Happiness is tough stuff -- quietly confrontational, genuinely haunting, and, most disturbing of all, unexpectedly moving.

Full Review… | September 17, 2007

By far Solondz's best film, an original exploration of American suburban angst, with three Chekhovian sisters at the center and a gallery of "deviant" characters that are presented with humor in non-judgmental way.

Full Review… | October 10, 2006

It'll soon have you quoting German existential philosophers in coming to terms with it . . .

Full Review… | September 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for Happiness

"Happiness" sure is an experience. It's an ensemble movie about miserable (and often terrible) people who are searching desperately to find ways to not be so sad anymore. I found it to be too long and didn't like the jumps in tonal extremes. I also felt that some of the stories are far less interesting than others (and the more interesting ones are also the most revolting). Still, with a great cast and engaging dialogue, it may be worth watching. Just make sure to take a shower after.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer


Todd Solondz 's film, present a jaw dropping dialoge, interesting characters, great black humor together with a tense drama, that show the life, relationships and strange sexuality of ordinary people trying to find they happiness in a disturb world. Happiness it's a bold, captivating, breathtaking and funny classic, of course Solondz's picture it's not for every audience, just the people that really understand black comedy and accept contoversial themes. It's also the first film, in a long time ago, that make a scene being sad, funny and surprising at the same time, just like Bill and Billy's last talk conclusion. Happiness is, without a doubt, one of best films from the 90's.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

So many fascinating characters in one and the same movie! Indie films of this sort have a tendency to be pretentious, but I thought this was nothing of the kind. The tone is quite dark and often disturbing, but at the same it achieves a near-impossible balance, by being really funny in all its tragedy. Even Jon Lovitz, whom I don't like that much as an actor, pulls off a remarkably good performance (despite his appearance being limited to one scene alone).

Every human on this planet wants to be happy, but sometimes things don't go according to plan, and this film does an excellent job at illustrating the pain, longings and dreams we all have and go through (altough some people's desires are more weird and sickening than others). In any case, this is one of the best indie flicks I've ever seen. A little draggy here and there, but with characters so addicting, that you're in constant anticipation of what they're gonna do next.

Highly recommended, presuming you can endure the permeating awkwardness!

Mike S

Super Reviewer

Happiness Quotes

– Submitted by Blake J (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Blake J (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Blake J (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Blake J (3 years ago)

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