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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.
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Stephen Adly Guirgis
A woman breaks up with her boyfriend, he thinks it's because he's fat. A man is unable to tell her next door neighbor he finds her sexually attractive. An old couple wants to split up, but they don't want to get a divorce. A therapist masturbates to teen magazines. An 11 year old kid is insecure about the fact that he hasn't cum yet. Office workers try to recall the face of a coworker who recently died. A woman is sure she has everything she could ever want. The lives of these individuals intertwine as they go about their lives in their own unique ways, engaging in acts society as a whole might find disturbing in a desperate search for human connection. Written by
A compelling watch, which will both amuse and seriously disturb
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.
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