Exhibits an almost pitch-perfect balance between condescension and compassion.
| Original Score: B+
Happiness is tough stuff -- quietly confrontational, genuinely haunting, and, most disturbing of all, unexpectedly moving.
| Original Score: 5/5
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.
| Original Score: A-
It'll soon have you quoting German existential philosophers in coming to terms with it . . .
Even in the darkest, sickest moments, there's always some kind of humor [but] what makes this comedy superior to most is that it remains painfully sincere.
| Original Score: 4/4
Some truly hilarious moments, but I spent most of the film with my mouth hanging open in shock.
| Original Score: 3/5
...seduces us with subtle humor and then hammers us with unpleasantness; it seems as selfishly opportunistic as anything committed by the perverted characters it portrays.
| Original Score: 4/10
I'm fairly thick skinned, but this film managed to create major feelings of revulsion in me.
| Original Score: 2/4
A brave, brilliantly realized piece of work, one that will be debated about for years to come.
Solondz is one of the masters of flawlessly intermingling both pitch-black comedy and heartbreaking drama, sometimes at the very same moment.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
If the film had managed somehow to keep the humor in with the shock quality, it would have been a triumph.
We are talking humor here in a shade of black that a raven would envy.
Solondz's view of [his characters] is prickly, perhaps, but he doesn't skewer them or indict humanity.
Everyone in this world is pretty much a pig of some sort. Those that aren't are doomed to be victims.
Happiness is not a film about happiness, but what is imagined as making one happy.
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.
| Original Score: A
| Original Score: 4/5