Happy Endings


Happy Endings

Critics Consensus

Despite strong individual performances, the overlong, disjointed plot of Happy Endings self-indulgently rambles.



Total Count: 107


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,111
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Movie Info

Mamie is being blackmailed. This filmmaker named Nick claims to know Mamie's son -- the one she gave up for adoption -- but Nick won't introduce her to him unless he can film the reunion. Enter Javier, Mamie's massage therapist boyfriend, who convinces Nick to film him instead. Now they're all making a movie about massage. Charley has a longtime boyfriend named Gil. Their best friends, Pam and Diane, once tried using Gil as a sperm donor. They said his sperm didn't take, but Charley thinks those control-freak lesbians are lying. Pam and Diane's two-year-old son looks exactly like Gil. And, it's time to set the record straight. Jude is pissed. Not at anyone in particular. Just in general. When her cousin kicks her out of the house, Jude shacks up with Otis, who's still trying to convince his father, Frank, that he's straight. Frank's a widower. And, he's rich. So Jude decides to sleep with him, too. The last thing she expected was to fall in love.

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Critic Reviews for Happy Endings

All Critics (107) | Top Critics (35)

  • Intriguing but overlong and indulgent, the work of a writer too in love with his characters.

    Aug 11, 2005 | Rating: 3/5
  • Serves as a relaunching pad for the magical talents of Maggie Gyllenhaal as Jude.

    Aug 11, 2005

    Andrew Sarris

    Top Critic
  • Roos's movie is so aggressively pleased with itself it leaves you feeling it doesn't even need an audience.

    Aug 5, 2005 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • [It] feels like Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia for adolescents.

    Aug 5, 2005 | Rating: 2/4
  • The narrative sprawls without achieving depth and carries the additional burden of featuring only two or three interesting characters out of 10 candidates.

    Jul 28, 2005

    Todd McCarthy

    Top Critic
  • Roos does an admirable job balancing the tragedy and comedy.

    Jul 28, 2005 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Happy Endings

  • Mar 31, 2011
    Multiple intersecting stories, including plots about blackmail, stolen sperm, and a woman who fucks a gay drummer and his father, are at the center of this Robert Altman imitation. By the end of this film, I thought that it had reached the Altman Standard in terms of its ability to cleverly combine these characters with some degree of dramatic effectiveness. I write "dramatic" intentionally because even though the title cards and other sources identify this as a comedy, I saw very little humorous about its situations or delivery. Sure, there are a couple moments that were chuckle-worthy, but that's about it. In my sentence-summary of the film, I listed the most prominent plots, and if you think I'm being somewhat satirical, you're right. A lot of the critics' reviews of <i>Happy Endings</i> lamented the ludicrousness of its storylines, and from a writer's standpoint, I have to agree. However, good actors can sometimes save bad writing. The way in which each of these actors commit to their characters makes the film almost believable. Of particular note is Lisa Kudrow, with whom I, a long-time <i>Friends</i> hater, have never been impressed. But she scraps her ditsy-girl act, and her damaged character exudes a vulnerability that her other work didn't allow her to explore. Also, throughout the film we get title cards explaining characters' back-stories, and this strikes me as lazy filmmaking. Instead of deftly showing the information we need, the film inundates the audience with minutiae and sly comments that have little bearing on the film's action. Overall, though there are some significant issues from a writing perspective, the actors save this piece.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2009
    A really interesting story and quite a few likable characters. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lisa Kudrow, Steve Coogan and Jesse Bradford all give really good performances, while some of the other actors seem to go unnoticed. The stories are all pretty interesting and have a very different feel to each one, which was really an interesting approach.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • Jan 20, 2008
    This is a great movie. I first watched it a few years ago, and I couldn't remember a great deal about it, aside from that I enjoyed it. Had a few hours this afternoon, (and I mean that literally, it is over 2 hours long). This is a black comedy and has a great cast including Maggie Gylenhaal in an early role (probably my favourite character in this. She is not especially likable, but I did like her, she plays the part in such a way that you want to make excuses for her). There's also Lisa Kudrow in sour and bitchy mode, similar to the character she played in The opposite of sex, which I think was the same director, which explains a few things. The two movies definitely have similarities. I really liked how this movie ran so many different stories together, and how it used text to narrate some of the story. An interesting and well written story.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 15, 2008
    Its a funny movie -- a bunch of characters intertwined - gay and straight, honest or not. Perhaps it was too late in the evening when I watched it, but I was having troubles with all the connections even though they do their best to explain them to you.
    Red L Super Reviewer

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