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Happiness (1998)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  16 October 1998 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 49,118 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 492 user | 142 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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Title: Happiness (1998)

Happiness (1998) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 13 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

16 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Todd Solondz's Untitled  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£83,998 (UK) (16 April 1999)

Gross:

£365,332 (UK) (7 May 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the fact that this was filmed in the standard spherical format, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Allen: Can I smell your panties?
See more »

Connections

References Ms. 45 (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Polarizing
10 September 2004 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

There are only a handful of films that have a distinct polarizing affect on the audience--A Clockwork Orange, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, and I would even lump in American Beauty--these are movies you either get, or you don't. And if you don't get it, you will hate it. Open minded viewers need only apply, and that's certainly the case with "Happiness." I remember leaving the theater absolutely shocked, and not just because of the events on screen. I was shocked that I found the movie so intelligent and oddly entertaining. The actors surely must have felt that, after reading the screenplay. And there are some big actors in this--veterans like Ben Gazzara, Louise Lasser, Elizabeth Ashley, mixing with new talent like Philip Seymour Hoffman, Camryn Manheim, Dylan Baker, Lara Flynn Boyle, etc.

The subject matter is truly unsettling--a parental figure, respected in his community, does some horrible things, and this is the main reason why so many people have a hard time with this movie. Did this material really need to be examined in modern cinema? Well, yes--in the same way that David Lynch had to explore it in Blue Velvet. Happiness is a masterpiece of irony (even in the title), and finds humor in the most unusual and downright bizarre circumstances. You will not see another movie like it. Guaranteed. And fair warning--you could very well despise it. And it's probably a fair estimate that its writer/director, Todd Solondz, doesn't give a damn.


169 of 211 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Where did you guys find this movie? pyrodragon2000-1
If you enjoyed this movie you are a sick, demented, despicable freak. Battle-Axe
One of only two movies I have ever walked out of drlawyer
Why was Billy crying at the end of the conversation with his father? jessicahalicki
i hate this film moosepie
Did anyone find this film uplifting? banddirector23
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