Happiness (1998)

I’m gonna fuck you so hard, you’ll be coming out of your ears. Fuck you…

— Allen

I watched Todd Solondz’s Happiness last night. People were praising this movie about the subversiveness of suburban life and controversial topics. I was bored out of my mind. I wasn’t as disgusted as I was with Towelhead. This movie is an easier pill to swallow.

The story centers around the Jordan family. It’s an ensemble piece about this particular family trying to find “happiness” in their lives. Some people’s versions of happiness differs from others. It’s weird, because this people are miserable in their lives.

It starts out with Joy (Jane Adams) dumping Andy Kornbluth (Jon Lovitz), because of his looks. It’s ironic that Joy is not exactly a bombshell herself. She is very plain, boring recently turned thirty-year-old woman that has no ambitions in her life. Andy eventually places a curse on her.

The next storyline centers around Joy’s older sister, Trish Maplewood (Cynthia Stevenson) and her psychiatrist husband, Bill (Dylan Baker). They are living in a sexless marriage, where both parties are content with it. Bill develops feelings for his young son, Billy’s (Rufus Read), classmates. He masturbates to teenybopper magazines in the back of his car. He also has fantasies about going on a mass shooting rampage.

A deviation to this subplot is another one involving Allen (Philip Seymour Hoffman) that is obsessed with the last Jordan sister, Helen (Lara Flynn Boyle). He wants to have nasty, freaky-deaky sex with her. He searches throughout the phone book to speak to her.

There is also the subplot with the disillusion of the marriage between Lenny and Mona (Ben Gazzara, Louise Lassar), the parents.

Judgment: I would suggest this movie more than Towelhead. It deals with taboo subject matter but it doesn’t donkey punch you with it.

Rating: **1/2

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About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on February 16, 2009, in 1998, Drama, Independent and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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