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Story

At times brilliant and insightful, at times repellent and false, Happiness is director Todd Solondz's multistory tale of sex, perversion, and loneliness. Plumbing depths of Crumb-like angst and rejection, Solondz won the Cannes International Critics Prize in 1998 and the film was a staple of nearly every critic's Top Ten list. Admirable, shocking, and hilarious for its sarcastic yet strangely empathetic look at consenting adults' confusion between lust and love, the film stares unflinchingly until the audience blinks. But it doesn't stop there. A word of strong caution to parents: One of the main characters, a suburban super dad (played by Dylan Baker), is really a predatory pedophile and there is more than an attempt to paint him as a sympathetic character. Children are used in this film as running gags or, worse, the means to an end. Whether that end is a humorous scene for Solondz or sexual gratification for the rapist becomes largely irrelevant. Happiness is an intelligent, sad film, revelatory and exact at moments. It's also abuse in the guise of art. That's nothing to celebrate. --Keith Simanton

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen

Cast

Jane AdamsJoy Jordan
Jon LovitzAndy Kornbluth
Philip Seymour HoffmanAllen
Dylan BakerBill Maplewood
Lara Flynn BoyleHelen Jordan
Justin ElvinTimmy Maplewood
Cynthia StevensonTrish Maplewood
Lila Glantzman-LeibChloe Maplewood
Gerry BeckerPsychiatrist
Rufus ReadBilly Maplewood
Louise LasserMona Jordan
Ben GazzaraLenny Jordan
Camryn ManheimKristina
Arthur J. NascarellaDetective Berman
Molly ShannonNancy
Ann HaradaKay
Douglas McGrathTom
Eric MarcusCourteous Waiter (as Dr. Eric Marcus)
Eytan MirskyAngry Picketer
Lisa Louise LangfordRadical Picketer
Anne BobbyRhonda
Socorro SantiagoCrying Teacher
Allison FurmanConsoling Teacher
Wai Ching HoStudent #1
Bina SharifStudent #2
Tsepo MokoneStudent #3
Jared HarrisVlad
Dan MoranJoe Grasso
Evan SilverbergJohnny Grasso
Marla MaplesAnn Chambeau
Hope PomeranceHysterical Woman
Matt MalloyDoctor
Elizabeth AshleyDiane Freed
Dan TedlieDon
Marina GaizidorskiaZhenia
Johann CarloBetty Grasso
Joe LisiPolice Detective
José RabeloPedro
Diane TylerJanet
Olga StepanovaZhenia's Mother

  • Genre: Comedy Movies
  • Director: Todd Solondz
  • Producer: TriMark
  • Length: 134 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaOct 16, 1998
    EuropeApr 16, 1999
    JapanJul 15, 2000
    AustraliaMar 25, 1999
  • Ratings
    North AmericaNC-17
    Europe18
    AustraliaR
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaApr 27, 1999
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