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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 Joe Grasso
as Johnny Grasso
as Timmy Maplewood
as Chloe Maplewood
as Detective Berman
as Courteous Waiter
as Angry Picketer
as Radical Picketer
as Crying Teacher
as Consoling Teacher
as Student No. 1
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as Student No. 3
as Hysterical Woman
as Betty Grasso
as Police Detective
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Critic Reviews for Happiness
As sharp as some of the writing is, Solondz is still not enough of a director to successfully negotiate this emotional minefield.
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.
Exhibits an almost pitch-perfect balance between condescension and compassion.
Happiness is tough stuff -- quietly confrontational, genuinely haunting, and, most disturbing of all, unexpectedly moving.
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.
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.
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.
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!
|Billy Maplewood:||[Last line] I came.|
|Billy Maplewood:||[last line] I came.|
|Helen Jordan:||If only I had been raped as a child. *Then* I would know authenticity!|
|Billy Maplewood:||Would you ever fuck me?|
|Bill Maplewood:||No, I'd jerk off instead.|
|Andy Kornbluth:||You're shit and I'm Champagne|
|Andy Kornbluth:||You're shit and I'm Champagne.|