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Happiness (1998)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  16 October 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 52,751 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 497 user | 146 critic | 30 from

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)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 13 wins & 19 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 <>

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:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

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 »


Helen Jordan: Y'know, people are always putting New Jersey down. None of my friends can believe I live here. But that's because they don't get it: I'm living in a state of irony.
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 »

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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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