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
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Separated from her incarcerated husband Bill (Hinds), Trish (Janney) is about to be married again. Bill is a pedophile, so Trish couldn't be more excited to have Harvey (Lerner), a "normal" father figure for her two sons. But when Bill is released from prison and the boys finally meet their future stepdad, the family is forced to decide whether to forgive or to forget. Trish's sister, the virginal, angelic Joy (Henderson), is also haunted by ghosts of lovers past. On leave from her degenerate husband, Allen (Williams), and her job at a New Jersey correctional facility, Joy unwittingly leaves behind a trail of shame and exposed secrets wherever she goes. In one of the film's most stylized sequences, the image of Joy walking the dark streets of Miami in her nightgown maintains her innocence against a backdrop of self-affliction and desire. Written by
"Happiness" was a funny yet very disturbing film. It's a very good film but one I can't see too often since some scenes are too weird. I wanted to see the follow up to that film, hoping it would be as funny, sad and chilling. "Life during Wartime" is quite weak. Having Charlotte Rampling in a small part did not help. The story took a long time to get going and then it was over too soon without creating any interest in the characters nor the storyline.
All the actors in the new film were much paler than the ones playing the same parts in "Happiness". The only appealing one was Shirley Henderson playing Joy (even if I missed Jane Adams dearly). The one playing Trish was nowhere near as good as the original actress, but the part was not as funny either.
Why make a follow up movie without the original cast? It would have been great to see them having aged like their characters. I suppose the actors from Happiness didn't like the script for "Life during Wartime"!
11 of 21 people found this review helpful.
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