BlakeJennings' Rating of Happiness

Blake's Review of Happiness

5 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes
Happiness

Happiness(1998)

Just 10 minutes after seeing Todd Solondz's Happiness, I am in shock at how much I loved this film. Happiness is perverted, dark, and pessimistic but it is also an insightful allegory on human nature. All of these characters are dispicable, except Joy, but there is something in them that we can relate to: and that is the need to be happy. No matter how deeply wretched a desire might be, it is still a desire just like your's and mine, and at the end of the day all we want to do is to gain happiness by fufilling them. Reviewers who say this film isn't honest are completly dense, if anything this film is too honest. There are some scenes here, the father/son conversation near the end especially, that are so open that I cringed. The acting from the entire cast was incredible and Dylan Baker's performance here asserts that he is one of the most underrated (and unsettling!)actors working today. In the end I found the most impressive feat of Happiness to be Solondz's balancing act in tone. He walks this whole film on a thin line between comedy and complete depravity and succeeds. While most will call the Bill Maplewood thread of the film disgusting, I found it miraculous how Solondz managed to make a pedophile somewhat empathetic and three dimensional. The audience is supposed to hate this man, but why do we hold are breath when we feel his crimes have been found out? (The reviewer who made the psycho comparision said it all). Happiness is not a film for everyone, only for those who can see through the dark tunnel of perversions and find the existential truths at the end of it. The sex is raw, the people are mean, the acts are heinous, but the main desire is our own: and that is to be happy. See Happiness, I effing loved it. A+