Happiness (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

Happiness (1998)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The lives of many individuals connected by the desire for happiness, often from sources usually considered dark or evil.
Rating:
NR (for explicit dialogue and some visuals relating to aberrant sexual behavior)
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Trimark Pictures

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Cast

Jane Adams (II)
as Joy Jordan
Jon Lovitz
as Andy Kornbluth
Dylan Baker
as Bill Maplewood
Lara Flynn Boyle
as Helen Jordan
Ben Gazzara
as Lenny Jordan
Marla Maples
as Ann Chambeau
Cynthia Stevenson
as Trish Maplewood
Elizabeth Ashley
as Diane Freed
Louise Lasser
as Mona Jordan
Camryn Manheim
as Kristina
Rufus Read
as Billy Maplewood
Anne Bobby
as Rhonda
Dan Moran
as Joe Grasso
Evan Silverberg
as Johnny Grasso
Justin Elvin
as Timmy Maplewood
Lila Glantzman-Leib
as Chloe Maplewood
Gerry Becker
as Psychiatrist
Arthur J. Nascarella
as Detective Berman
Eric Marcus
as Courteous Waiter
Eytan Mirsky
as Angry Picketer
Lisa Louise Langford
as Radical Picketer
Socorro Santiago
as Crying Teacher
Allison Furman
as Consoling Teacher
Wai Ching Ho
as Student No. 1
Bina Sharif
as Student No. 2
Tsepo Mokone
as Student No. 3
Hope Pomerance
as Hysterical Woman
Matt Malloy
as Doctor
Johann Carlo
as Betty Grasso
Joe Lisi
as Police Detective
Jose Rabelo
as Pedro
Diane Tylor
as Janet
Olga Stepanova
as Zhenia's Mother
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News & Interviews for Happiness

Critic Reviews for Happiness

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (11)

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
Salon.com
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
eFilmCritic.com

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
EmanuelLevy.Com

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

Full Review… | September 24, 2003
Movie Gurus

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.

Full Review… | September 10, 2002
Montreal Film Journal

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

½

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
Mike S

Super Reviewer

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