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
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 »
Pinky is an awkward adolescent who starts work at a spa in the California desert. She becomes overly attached to fellow spa attendant, Millie when she becomes Millie's room-mate. Millie is ... See full summary »
Todd Solondz plays a high schooler who wants to get into MIT. The only problem is, his gym teacher hates him, and fails him because he can't hit a shot in basketball. He also has no luck ... See full summary »
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
It's a sorta sequel to director Todd Solondz's 1998 film Happiness and the Jordan sisters. The characters are recast. Joy Jordan (Shirley Henderson) marries Allen Mellencamp (Michael K. Williams) who makes obscene calls and she is haunted by Andy (Paul Reubens). Bill Maplewood (Ciarán Hinds) is let out of prison serving for child molestation. His ex-wife Trish Jordan (Allison Janney) has to deal with her son Timmy finding out about Bill's crime. Bill starts dating Jacqueline (Charlotte Rampling). Trish is set to marry 'normal' Harvey Wiener (Michael Lerner). Helen Jordan (Ally Sheedy) is a successful screenwriter in California.
Recasting everybody has the weird sense of an alternate universe. It makes this a weirdly unreal movie. I can't say that the actors are inferior but they are different. I'm not a big fan of Happiness and this doesn't change that. I can't find any rooting interest in any of these characters. Some are downright kill worthy. The discussion between Trish and Timmy is so pathetic that it's almost funny. At least, it was memorable.
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