Happy Hour (2004)
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as Tulley Sr.
as Dr. Pitcoff
as Woman in Bar
as Woman in Park
Critic Reviews for Happy Hour
In a world with so many problems, it's hard to drum up any sympathy for these characters' profligate self-destruction.
First-time writer-director Mike Bencivenga and co-writer Richard Levine have a flair for brittle repartee, and an obvious affection for literate drunks, but their take on the drinking life feels antiquated and movie-derived.
LaPaglia is solid and there's a grittiness here, and a clear-eyed approach to alcoholism that's reminiscent of Leaving Las Vegas.
If only its characters weren't such stereotypes.
What you'll remember most about the movie is its banal script and dialogue so ripe it almost laughs at itself.
Audience Reviews for Happy Hour
Happy Hour is Dramedy film starring Anthony LaPaglia as Tully, our main character, who went from being a once-promising author, to becoming an advertising copy editor. Through his experiences, he moves from being a cold-hard cynic, to accepting his fate as he secretly hopes and attempts to finally write a great novel. He is accompanied by his friend Levine, played by Eric Stoltz, and a mysterious woman named Natalie played by Caroleen Feeney, who tries to save him even though she also suffers at the feet of his bouts of anger and rejection. The acting in this film is absolutely superb. Anthony LaPaglia, who has never had a problem giving a pitch-perfect performance, gives a an amazing performance that is not only harsh and dark, but it is also at time witty. Eric Stoltz and Caroleen Feeney hold their own up against LaPaglia, and give two extraordinary supporting performances. We also have the pleasure of seeing Robert Vaughan, who plays Tulley's father Tulley, sr. He also gives a fantastic performance. The writing, by first and only time director Mike Bencivenga and Richard Levine, also shifts from being dark to being witty. A very well crafted screenplay is a key necessity to having a film that works, and this films works plenty more than it needs to. It has equal parts great writing and strong character development, and you really feel all of the emotions of the characters. Especially Tulley (LaPaglia). When ever the film becomes dark and emotional, you feel with great strength everything he is going through. In conclusion, Happy Hour is an outstanding achievement. It should be required viewing by all. When I first saw it, I laughed, I cried, I felt happy, I felt sad. It is a mixed-emotion film, but it is an absolute masterpiece. Not many have heard of this film, it was only screened for a short-time at an Independent film festival, but it is not that hard to find.
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