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Happiness (1998)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  16 October 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 53,254 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
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Did You Know?


On IMDb Jon Lovitz first listed film that he's (known for) is Happiness. Despite the fact his character only spends 5 minutes of screen time, in the movie that goes for 134 minute. See more »


The level of wine in each person's glass changes between shots during the final scene. See more »


Joy Jordan: [singing] It seems the things I've wanted in my life I've never had. And so it's no surprise that living only leaves me sad. Happiness, where are you? I've searched so long for you. Happiness, what are you? I haven't got a clue. Happiness, why do you have to stay... so far away... from me?
See more »


Performed by Barry Manilow
Written by Richard Kerr, Scott English
Published by EMI Screen Gems and Morris Music, Inc.
Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

A brilliant movie, but not for everyone.
15 March 2000 | by (San Diego) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best movies I've ever seen, but I would hesitate to recommend it to people whom I don't know pretty well. It explores aspects of life and living (and suffering) that most films avoid or actively deny. And it does so brilliantly. The characters are vividly real, and there is such a strong sense of situations unfolding in real time that it's truly mesmerising. I felt like a fly on the wall, eavesdropping on conversations I could never hear otherwise. I think many people would absolutely hate this movie, partly because it doesn't pass judgement on behaviours that are repulsive to the bulk of humanity, and partly because it exposes us to them at all.

142 of 171 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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