97% Ghostbusters Aug 29
31% As Above/So Below Aug 29
36% The November Man Aug 27
98% Starred Up Aug 27
76% The Congress Aug 29

Top Box Office

92% Guardians of the Galaxy $17.2M
20% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $16.7M
37% If I Stay $15.7M
21% Let's Be Cops $10.8M
18% When The Game Stands Tall $8.4M
34% The Expendables 3 $6.5M
32% The Giver $6.4M
45% Sin City: A Dame to Kill For $6.3M
66% The Hundred-Foot Journey $5.3M
19% Into The Storm $3.8M

Coming Soon

—— Innocence Sep 05
—— The Longest Week Sep 05
—— The Identical Sep 05
67% Thunder and the House of Magic Sep 05
74% God Help the Girl Sep 05

New Episodes Tonight

91% Doctor Who: Season 8
—— Hell on Wheels: Season 4
39% Intruders: Season 1
89% Outlander: Season 1
46% Reckless: Season 1
—— Unforgettable: Season 3

Discuss Last Night's Shows

—— Jonah From Tonga: Season 1

Certified Fresh TV

86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% Doctor Who: Season 8
83% Extant: Season 1
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
73% Murder in the First: Season 1
89% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
82% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1
77% You're the Worst: Season 1

What Happened Was... (1994)



Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 316

My Rating

Movie Info

Two vaguely acquainted co-workers meet for a first date. This is the deceptively simple premise of What Happened Was..., the directorial debut of actor and playwright Tom Noonan. Noonan also portrays Michael, a paralegal; Karen Sillas plays Jackie, an executive assistant at the same New York law firm. The film limits itself to their first encounter outside the office, a dinner date at Jackie's apartment, and allows the evening to unfold at a natural, unforced pace. Michael and Jackie are

Mar 26, 1996

Hallmark Entertainment

Watch It Now



Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (19) | Rotten (2)

This intense, mysterious drama about a date between two lonely misfits, is sensitively directed by Tom Noonan, better known as an actor; it was the surprise winner of the Grand Jury Prize of the 1994 Sundance Film Festival.

December 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

More like a bad real first date than a movie.

January 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Absorbing character-based drama that yields plenty of nuances and variations on its simple premise.

August 17, 2003
Nick's Flick Picks

A darky amusing but sadly poignant look at dating and deception.

March 14, 2003
Nitrate Online

Brilliantly executed psychodrama about all the emotions that come to the fore in dating.

August 30, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

This one really moves and breathes.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Audience Reviews for What Happened Was...

The date of lowered expectations leads to a nice film where Noonan just lets the camera roll and allows the characters to develop within their own private space. Nice.
January 3, 2013
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

"What Happened Was..." is perhaps one of the very best independent films I have ever seen. It's poignant, insightful, sweet, funny, and reminds us of how awkward getting to know someone at first truly is. Tom Noonan is an actor whose work as a director was unknown to me before this film, and here he exceeds in both categories. "What Happened Was..." ends more dramatically than I would have preferred, but it is a worthwhile and satisfying experience nonetheless. If dialogue-driven films are your thing, this one comes highly recommended.
April 14, 2012
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss What Happened Was... on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

November Man is Slick, Convoluted

Total Recall
Total Recall

Pierce Brosnan's 10 Best Movies

Mindy Project
Mindy Project

Get caught up on the comedy

Red Carpet Roundup
Red Carpet Roundup

See pictures from this week's premieres

Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile