123 user 77 critic

Happy, Texas (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime, Romance | 3 December 1999 (UK)
Two escaped convicts arrive in the town of Happy, Texas, where they are mistaken for a gay couple who is to host the town's Little Miss Fresh Squeezed beauty pageant. Enjoying the celebrity... See full summary »


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6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ms. Schaefer
Bob Maslow
Mrs. Bromley
The Judge
Jillian Berard ...
Melissa Arnold ...
Other Happy Girl
Other Happy Girl
Tiffany Takara ...
Other Happy Girl


Two escaped convicts arrive in the town of Happy, Texas, where they are mistaken for a gay couple who is to host the town's Little Miss Fresh Squeezed beauty pageant. Enjoying the celebrity and using their skill as con-men, the two adopt their persona to take on the task. Of course, as the two are heterosexual, their interest in the involved ladies intensifies. Ally Walker is a banker, who is distrustful of men and has given up on love. Illeana Douglas plays the dowdy, badly dressed teacher. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They need pros. They're getting cons. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language, sexual content and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 December 1999 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Happy Texas - iloiset veikot  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$1,700,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$72,056, 3 October 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,943,649, 19 December 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Shot over a period of 22 days. See more »


Happy is said to be in southwestern Texas near El Paso. In fact, the real Happy is in the northern part of the state between Amarillo and Lubbock. See more »


Wayne Wayne Wayne Jr.: The Light IS GREEN!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Wayne Artman is listed as Wayne Wayne Wayne Artman Sr., spoofing Steve Zahn's character name. See more »


References Sanford and Son (1972) See more »


Baila Este Ritmo
Performed by Flaco Jiménez
Written by Ron Morales, Raul 'Nunie' Rubio, Leonardo 'Flaco' Jiménez, Michael Morales
Published by Boom Tat Music (ASCAP)
Flaco Jiménez appears courtesy of Barbwyre Records
See more »

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User Reviews

More than Happy...
18 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

Happy, Texas is a real delight... a witty, sharply drawn comedy with a top-notch ensemble cast that never stoops to cheap laughs. Steve Zahn is wonderful as Wayne Wayne Wayne, Jr., a pugnacious car thief with "a real way with people" who finds an unexpected connection with uptight school teacher Illeana Douglas. As his partner Harry Sawyer, Jeremy Northam gives a flawless performance as a con man with a conscience who falls for the town's banker, beautifully played by Ally Walker. Bill Macy rounds out the cast as Sheriff Chappy Dent, who proves that life is for "findin' out."

There are plenty of scenes in Happy, Texas that are laugh out loud funny, but some of the best are those that reveal the growth of the characters as they come to know one another. The dance scene with Jeremy Northam and Bill Macy is a perfect moment: a slice of well-timed physical comedy ("I'm gonna spin ya again!"), but also a window into the development of Northam's character as he comes to know and respect Macy's.

The chemistry between all of the actors is right on the money as well. Each of these characters was alone until Harry and Wayne came to town. When thrown together in the days before the Little Miss Fresh Squeezed Talent Competition, they find romance in the unknown, taking a chance with a stranger and finding it to be worth the risk.

This film is that rare find: a funny, genuinely sweet comedy that dares not to have a dark side. First time movie-makers Mark Illsley and Ed Stone made an independent film on a shoe-string budget that outclasses most films made by major studios. You'll be more than happy that you found this gem.

The DVD is completely loaded: a writer/director's commentary, deleted scenes (which can be viewed with or without commentary), interviews, a featurette, and a handful of music videos. If you loved the movie, the DVD is a must-have.

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