MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 5,903 this week

What Happened Was... (1994)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  9 September 1994 (USA)
7.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.1/10 from 960 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

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 29 titles
created 28 Apr 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 05 Dec 2012
 
list image
a list of 37 titles
created 06 Aug 2013
 
a list of 46 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 37 titles
created 4 months 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

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Three Seasons (1999)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An American in Ho Chi Minh City looks for a daughter he fathered during the war. He meets Woody, a child who's a street vendor, and when Woody's case of wares disappears, he thinks the ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Bui
Stars: Ngoc Hiep Nguyen, Ngoc Minh, Phat Trieu Hoang
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
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
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A Russian woman living in Memphis with a much older rock-'n'-roll legend experiences a personal awakening when her husband's estranged son comes to visit.

Director: Ira Sachs
Stars: Dina Korzun, Rip Torn, Darren E. Burrows
Poison (1991)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Three intercut stories about outsiders, sex and violence. In "Hero," Richie, at age 7, kills his father and flies away. After the event, a documentary in cheesy lurid colors asks what ... See full summary »

Director: Todd Haynes
Stars: Edith Meeks, Larry Maxwell, Susan Norman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Jackie works as a secretary for a law firm. She is secretly attracted to her colleague Michael, a charismatic but eccentric paralegal. Harbouring romantic feelings, she invites the lonely ... See full summary »

Director: Curt Truninger
Stars: Eva Birthistle, Tim Dutton, Myra Fried
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This film is based on a true story about a British teenager who allegedly poisoned family, friends, and co-workers. Graham is highly intelligent, but completely amoral. He becomes ... See full summary »

Director: Benjamin Ross
Stars: Hugh O'Conor, Antony Sher, Tobias Arnold
True Love I (1989)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Donna and Michael are getting married. But first, they have to plan the reception, get the tux, buy the rings, and cope with their own uncertainty about the decision. Michael fears ... See full summary »

Director: Nancy Savoca
Stars: Annabella Sciorra, Ron Eldard, Aida Turturro
Smooth Talk (1985)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A free-spirited 15-year-old girl flirts with a dangerous stranger in the Northern California suburbs and must prepare herself for the frightening and traumatic consequences.

Director: Joyce Chopra
Stars: Treat Williams, Laura Dern, Mary Kay Place
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Mexican boy smuggles himself to Brooklyn to meet his long-lost father - only to have his identity stolen upon arrival by an impostor who seeks to steal the fathers' fortune.

Director: Christopher Zalla
Stars: Jesús Ochoa, Armando Hernández, Jorge Adrián Espíndola
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Sci-Fi author is plagued by his publisher's demands to add more sex to his new novel, sexual advances of his girl's sexy best friend and her daughter and hallucinations in which the novel's hero faces desert parasites and alien vixens.

Director: Gary Walkow
Stars: Tom Villard, Susan Dey, Elaine Giftos
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?

Trivia

Tom Noonan's directal debut of a full length feature film. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

One Day Too Late
Written and Produced by Billy Seidman
Performed by LaJuan Carter
by arrangement with Northern Exposure Music
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:
?