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Happiness (1998)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  16 October 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 53,231 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 497 user | 147 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

The lives of many individuals connected by the desire for happiness, often from sources usually considered dark or evil.



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Justin Elvin ...
Lila Glantzman-Leib ...
Rufus Read ...
Lenny Jordan
Detective Berman


When a young woman rejects her current overweight suitor in a restaurant, he unexpectedly places a curse on her. The film then moves on to her sisters. One is a happily married woman with a psychiatrist husband and three kids. Unfortunately the husband develops an unnatural fascination for his 11 year old son's male classmates, fantasizes about mass killing in a park, and masturbates to teen magazines. One of his patients has an unrequited fascination for the third sister. Meanwhile the apparently stable 40 year marriage of the sister's parents suddenly unravels when he decides he has had enough and wants to live a hermit's life in Florida. Obviously, the whole movie is slightly warped in its viewpoint and certainly presents abnormal relationships among all of its parties. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

16 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Todd Solondz's Untitled  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$30,230 (USA) (9 October 1998)


£365,332 (UK) (7 May 1999)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A scene was filmed in which Andy commits suicide but it was deleted. See more »


When the police officers are sitting in Bill Maplewood's house. See more »


Mona: You know I wish you had told me this twenty years ago. Now I'm gonna have to get another FUCKING FACELIFT!
See more »


Followed by Life During Wartime (2009) See more »


You Light Up My Life
Performed by Anatoly Aleshin
Written by Joe Brooks
Published by PolyGram International Publishing
Inc. and Curb Songs
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User Reviews

Transfixed, mortified, amused, devastated
22 June 2000 | by (Southern California) – See all my reviews

Gradually, as I watched this movie, I became aware that I was witnessing some of the most powerful and honest acting, writing, and directing I had ever experienced. And I'm glad, because if this material had been attempted by anyone without extreme skill and sensitivity, it would have been a monstrous disaster. As it is, I don't think I would add it to my DVD collection. I don't know if I could watch it again, and I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable people seeing it on my shelf unless they knew me well. There are moments of great hope in this movie, when you think misery may finally give way to happiness. There are moments of great honesty, when a character says just what you'd expect them to say, and you realize how "safe" every other movie character has been in comparison. The humor that other reviews talk about is not the kind of humor that makes me laugh, personally. It's the dark, visceral humor of human weakness, meanness and even pathology. I still appreciate it for what it is, and it is used in a profound and delicate way. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who is willing to accept that life, and especially sexual life, is really much more complex and difficult than we usually admit. I recommend watching it alone, or with a friend or partner with whom you can discuss the most emotionally difficult topics. This movie will test you if you stick with it, but you'll know you saw something profound.

89 of 103 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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