MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 4,805 this week

What Happened Was... (1994)

7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 936 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 13 critic

This darkly humorous film explores the personal psychic landscape of two lonely New Yorkers. Jackie and Michael are coworkers at a large law firm, who decide to meet at Jackie's for dinner ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 27 titles
created 23 Oct 2010
 
list image
a list of 37 titles
created 06 Aug 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 2 months ago
 
a list of 43 titles
created 1 month ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 4 weeks ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: What Happened Was... (1994)

What Happened Was... (1994) on IMDb 7.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of What Happened Was....
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sunday (1997)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This film concerns two mysterious characters who meet on a Sunday in Queens. Madeleine the most unsettling creature of that name since "Vertigo" is a middle-aged, moderately successful ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Nossiter
Stars: David Suchet, Lisa Harrow, Arnold Barkus
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

William Douglas Street is bored with his life. Working for his father is getting to him, his wife wants more money, and he's had enough. His solution is to re-invent himself. He becomes a ... See full summary »

Director: Wendell B. Harris Jr.
Stars: Wendell B. Harris Jr., Timothy Alvaro, Dave Barber
Risk (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Maya, a New York artist and model, meets Joe, a drifter. They begin a passionate affair. On an impromptu trip to visit Joe's sister in the country, Joe's inner demons begin to surface. Maya... See full summary »

Director: Deirdre Fishel
Stars: Karen Sillas, David Ilku, Molly Price
In the Soup (1992)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A neurotic nebbish lives in 2 worlds: the fantasy of winning his dream-girl via a hit movie, and the meager existence he scrapes out from very odd jobs, such as thesping in an arty ... See full summary »

Director: Alexandre Rockwell
Stars: Steve Buscemi, Seymour Cassel, Jennifer Beals
Stuff (2015)
Drama

A married couple raising two daughters find themselves in a mid life crisis where grief and attraction threaten their domestic nucleus

Director: Suzanne Guacci
Stars: Traci Dinwiddie, Karen Sillas, Phyllis Somerville
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A volatile skinhead convict on death row and a not-so-typical priest cross paths for a final prison visitation.

Director: Jason Victor Everett
Stars: Tom Noonan, Jason Victor Everett, Tony Wilcox
Simple Men (1992)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Bitter about being double-crossed by the women he loved, (and with the police after him to boot), Bill vows to seduce the next woman he sees, then throw her away. His brother Dennis, ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Hartley
Stars: Robert John Burke, Bill Sage, Martin Donovan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Over 16 hours, in February, 1987, a man confronts jealously and rage as a love affair falters. Photojournalist Mel Hurley returns home to San Francisco on the eve of his birthday, expecting... See full summary »

Director: Rob Nilsson
Stars: Rob Nilsson, Consuela Faust, Don Bajema
The Beast (TV Movie 1996)
Adventure | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Mysterious things happen at the coast of Graves Point: An empty boat lies at the shore, divers vanish. The sea biologist Dr. Talley thinks he knows the solution of the mystery: In the depth there is a gigantic squid.

Director: Jeff Bleckner
Stars: William Petersen, Karen Sillas, Charles Martin Smith
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Ruby, a young woman, arrives in a Florida resort town during the off season to make a fresh start. She gets work as a sales clerk in a souvineer shop run by Mildred Chambers. She dates, and... See full summary »

Director: Victor Nunez
Stars: Ashley Judd, Todd Field, Bentley Mitchum
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This Ken Loach docu-drama relates the story of a British woman's fight with Social Services over the care of her children. Maggie has a history of bouncing from one abusive relationship to ... See full summary »

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Crissy Rock, Vladimir Vega, Sandie Lavelle
Short | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

Tom Noonan stars in a surreal film about a lonely Janitor. We follow him through the mundane task of his routine, his infatuation with a coworker, and the questioning of his own sanity. ... See full summary »

Director: Aleks Vujosevic
Stars: Darcy Campbell, Tom Noonan, Michelle D'Alessandro Hatt
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jackie Marsh
...
Michael
Edit

Storyline

This darkly humorous film explores the personal psychic landscape of two lonely New Yorkers. Jackie and Michael are coworkers at a large law firm, who decide to meet at Jackie's for dinner one night. As this 'first date' plays out, the audience is guided through a mental minefield of disappointment, desolation, and desperation. Their conversation, with its awkward 'small talk', slowly reveals their unhappy lives.... Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 September 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Afto pou egine...  »

Box Office

Budget:

$120,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$327,482 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

References Late Show with David Letterman (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Voices Carry
Written by Michael Hausman, Joseph Pesce and Aimee Mann
Performed by 'Til Tuesday
Published by Intersong, USA
(Warner-Chappell Music)
Courtesy Epic Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
You have to be open and honest with your emotions for a relationship to work
24 October 2004 | by (Brooklyn NY USA) – See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** " What Happened Was" is a story about hurt and loneliness in the big city and how it effects two people Michael & Jackie Tom Noonan & Karen Sillas, who are co-workers at a big NYC law firm.

Michael is a paralegal and Jackie is an executive assistant as they both spend what at first seems to be a quite evening dinner at Jackie's apartment that leads to an emotional explosion which exposes the mask that they've been wearing at their job all these years. Jackie really likes Michael very much and finds in him the reason for her to get up every morning and go to work. Single like Michael she as well as him want to have a relationship to put a wedge between the loneliness that they both feel but living as they do in a major modern metropolis in a way forces them not to be themselves.

Michael is far more deluded then Jackie, who's more down to earth and honest about herself, in him thinking that he's a big time social activist who's writing a book, that he tells Jackie took him fifteen years to write, about the law profession and how it hurts those that it deals with. Michael in fact is really a very insecure young man afraid of facing life and thus losing himself in a fantasy world that he created for himself inside his living room watching TV shows mostly on the Discovery Channel. It comes as a great shock to Michael's ego when Jackie shows him a children book that she wrote that was published unlike his imaginary work on social injustice.

Throughout the entire film Jackie does what she can to loosen Michael up, with almost an entire bottle of wine, and in the end he does seem to come out of his shell and really starts to get it on with Jackie. Still his insecurity keeps him from really being responsive to her feelings about him and it's that reaction that leaves Jackie in tears as she feels she made a fool of herself trying to get Michael to fall in love with her like she's with him.

Michael is finally brought down to earth when he realizes how he hurt Jackie with his overwhelming sense of self-importance. Michael's clumsy attempt to make things right after he tried to leave her just as Jackie thought he would stay over night left her with a sense of outraged. It's then that she tells Michael just what she thought of him, this after how she felt all this time about him, and how he was the only person to make her happy in the office that they both worked at. That revelation by Jackie hit Michael so hard that for once he opens up to her and is honest about himself, not at first realizing her feelings that she had for him, and tries to make amends for what he, unconsciously, put her through that evening.

Heart-felt and moving film about how people have trouble connecting with each other and how two people who worked and were friends for years at the job together are like fish out of water and strangers when they meet and try to start up a serious relationship out of the workplace.


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Michael Autistic? neurotic9
DVD Release joel_the_ghoul
Good Indie Movie LunaticOnTheGrass
Hey Tom Noonan tylerd1-1
Her story fozitola
Discuss What Happened Was... (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?