Down 369 this week

Happiness (1998)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  16 October 1998 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 53,220 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.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Insightful look at an unattractive 7th grader as she struggles to cope with un-attentive parents, snobbish classmates, a smart older brother, an attractive younger sister, and her own insecurities.

Director: Todd Solondz
Stars: Heather Matarazzo, Christina Brucato, Victoria Davis
Storytelling (2001)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

College and high school serve as the backdrop for two stories about dysfunction and personal turmoil.

Director: Todd Solondz
Stars: Selma Blair, Leo Fitzpatrick, Robert Wisdom
Palindromes (2004)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Aviva is thirteen, awkward and sensitive. Her mother Joyce is warm and loving, as is her father, Steve, a regular guy who does have a fierce temper from time to time. The film revolves around her family, friends and neighbors.

Director: Todd Solondz
Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ellen Barkin, Stephen Adly Guirgis
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Friends, family, and lovers struggle to find love, forgiveness, and meaning in a war-torn world riddled with comedy and pathos.

Director: Todd Solondz
Stars: Shirley Henderson, Allison Janney, Ally Sheedy
Dark Horse (2011)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Romance blooms between two thirty-somethings in arrested development: an avid toy collector who is the dark horse of his family and a depressed woman on the rebound.

Director: Todd Solondz
Stars: Jordan Gelber, Selma Blair, Christopher Walken
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Ira is a nervous playwright waiting and hoping to succeed with his art, which he takes it very seriously. But following his dreams and ambitions isn't something easy to do, specially when ... See full summary »

Director: Todd Solondz
Stars: Todd Solondz, Max Cantor, Alexandra Gersten
Ghost World (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson
Gummo (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Lonely residents of a tornado-stricken Ohio town wander the deserted landscape trying to fulfill their boring, nihilistic lives.

Director: Harmony Korine
Stars: Nick Sutton, Jacob Sewell, Lara Tosh
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A theatre director struggles with his work, and the women in his life, as he creates a life-size replica of New York City inside a warehouse as part of his new play.

Director: Charlie Kaufman
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton, Michelle Williams
Kids (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A day in the life of a group of teens as they travel around New York City skating, drinking, smoking, and deflowering virgins.

Director: Larry Clark
Stars: Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, Chloë Sevigny
Funny Games (1997)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two psychotic young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement.

Director: Michael Haneke
Stars: Susanne Lothar, Ulrich Mühe, Arno Frisch
Irreversible (2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass.

Director: Gaspar Noé
Stars: Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel, Albert Dupontel


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


See all certifications »

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:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

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 »


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


Joe: What do you think would happen if I got him a professional... you know...
Bill: A professional?
Joe: Hooker. You know, the kind that can teach things... first-timers, you know... break him in.
Bill: But Joe, he's 11.
Joe: You're right, you're right. It's too late.
See more »


Followed by Life During Wartime (2009) See more »


All Out of Love
Performed by Air Supply
Written by Graham Russell and Clive Davis
Published by Nottsongs (all rights administered
by Careers-BMG Music Publishing, Inc.)
Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A compelling watch, which will both amuse and seriously disturb
3 April 2001 | by (lancashire England) – See all my reviews

Happiness - which centres around the lives of three sisters - Joy who's permanently unlucky in love, Helen a successful poet whose next door neighbour is obsessed with her and phones to explain this in graphic detail and finally there's Trish who has it all, a big house, a couple of kids and a successful psychiatrist husband who himself harbours uncontrollable urges.

The sisters are all somewhat fractured of mind - for example Lara Flyn Boyle's character plays an author suffering writers block bemoaning the fact that she wasn't abused as a child that could lend her work some authenticity

  • so she's delighted when she gets an obscene phone from a one of the

many fat ugly sex obsessed dysfunctioning American neurotics that seem to be this seasons slim sexy movie star successes. Happiness manages to be truly provocative and also madly comical at one and the same time... for instance I never thought I could feel sympathy for a paedophile or a bloke making obscene phone calls but with tact and courage Happiness confronts these modern folk devils.

Happiness is anything but; as the characters lives intertwine in the search for happiness they find only loneliness, obsession and some serious psychological problems. In particular the psychiatrists story is remarkable with performances second to none as he tries to explain to his son about his paedophile tendencies.

Happiness explodes some of the fear related misconceptions showing that repression is the oppression of our generation... as if an open mind is just that. Open and willing for some perverted notion to crawl right in...

Directed by Todd Solondz Happiness is a slice of American life that isn't normally dealt with this honesty, making it a compelling watch, which will both amuse and seriously disturb for its two hours and fifteen minutes running time. Happiness is a must see.

73 of 96 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Children can handle this film kentgrammel2
Funniest scene/line? solitary_bun
i hate this film moosepie
If you loved this film and are looking for another dark comedy project.. auduntverfjell
Best feel-good movie of all time Peatval
Finally watched it just now pledgerock
Discuss Happiness (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: