6.4/10
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80 user 92 critic

Happy Endings (2005)

Trailer
2:25 | Trailer

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Happy Endings weaves multiple stories to create a witty look at love, family and the sheer unpredictability of life itself.

Director:

Don Roos

Writer:

Don Roos
6 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lisa Kudrow ... Mamie
Steve Coogan ... Charley
Jesse Bradford ... Nicky
Bobby Cannavale ... Javier
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Jude
Jason Ritter ... Otis
Tom Arnold ... Frank
David Sutcliffe ... Gil
Sarah Clarke ... Diane
Laura Dern ... Pam
Hallee Hirsh ... Mamie at 17
Eric Jungmann ... Charley at 16 / Tom
Kim Morgan Greene ... Connie Peppitone
Rayne Marcus ... Annette
Caitlyn Folley ... Lauren (as Caker Folley)
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Storyline

An ensemble cast telling 10 stories with intertwining characters. One story is about a father and son who are dating the same woman . Another features a woman who long ago gave her baby up for adoption but is now being blackmailed by a documentary filmmaker who claims to know the now-grown child's whereabouts. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Everybody wants one. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, language and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 July 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Finais Felizes See more »

Filming Locations:

Glendale, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$240,075, 17 July 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,311,633, 11 September 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lions Gate Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Maggie Gyllenhaal does her own singing in the movie. See more »

Goofs

The position of the sunglasses in Jude's hands switches between shots as she's laying by the pool talking to Frank McKee. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Charley: [chasing Mamie] Wait! Wait!
Woman Driver: [hits Mamie] My God! Oh my God! Oh my God! I didn't see her! I didn't see her!
Charley: Oh my God!
Woman Driver: Oh my God, I'm so sorry, I didn't see her!
Charley: Do you have a cell? Call 911!
Woman Driver: Oh God.
Passerby: Hey, is she all right?
Charley: I don't know.
Woman Driver: [on phone] 911? Yes, hurry, we need an ambulance quick.
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the Stephen Blake family See more »

Connections

Features Judge Judy (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Glimpse
Written by Joey Burns and John Convertino
Performed by Calexico
Courtesy of OUR SOUL, OUR STRENGTH
by arrangement with Bug
Published by LUNADA BAY (BMI) and GOOD CLEAN DIRT (BMI)
Administered by Bug
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Too many unique vignettes causes overload on the "Happy Endings"
16 July 2009 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

Vignettes are a tricky business. To make a film with more than three main stories to follow that interconnect and are unified in some significant way is a challenge. "Love, Actually" is one of the only recent films to successfully pull this off, using Christmas and love as a unifying factor. Don Roos' "Happy Endings" uses ... love? happiness? sexuality? infatuation? It's not clear, and making all the vignettes cross-connect with each other doesn't satisfy what we look for in these movies. Each vignette should essentially tell the same message in a different way. "Happy Endings" has several original concepts, but the connection is obscure and hard to draw.

Roos ("The Opposite of Sex") essentially tells three stories: First follows Mamie (Lisa Kudrow) and the documentary she helps aspiring filmmaker Nicky (Jesse Bradford) make about her masseuse/lover Javier (Bobby Cannavale) so that she can find out information Nicky has of the son she gave away at birth when she was 18. The second follows the father of that child, Charlie (Steve Coogan), who is now gay and convinced that his partner (David Sutcliffe) is the biological father of their lesbian friends' son, whom he donated sperm to once and it supposedly didn't work. Last is Jude (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a free spirit who meets Otis (Jason Ritter), a young man that works in Charlie's restaurant who is hiding his homosexuality from his rich father (Tom Arnold). Jude promises Otis that she won't say anything if he doesn't spoil her plan to become involved with his father for the money.

That mostly covers the labyrinthian complexity of "Happy Endings," which despite it's courage to choose such unique scenarios , doesn't seem to ever make clear sense. It's all quite interesting, as this is relationship drama we've never seen before, but there are a lot of emotions flying around and motivations that seem to lack sources. It probably all made sense in Roos' head, but it doesn't convert.

The acting talent isn't necessarily lacking either. This is the best performance I've ever seen Kudrow give in a film -- she reminds me of another Annette Bening. Gyllenhaal is also one of the more complex (in the intriguing way) characters and she draws the widest variety of emotions from the audience as she crosses a fine line between sincerity and deception. Although the characters are interesting, however, we mostly feel just apathy because the snippets we get of them are more puzzling than revealing.

Another unique technique that Roos employs is adding subtitles that give away little pieces of information about the characters as we watch them, whether it's what happens in the future to them or a secret they have. It's supposed to add a unique twist to what's being shown on screen, but it's hard enough to make sense of what's going on on screen as it is. It's not a bad idea, but it just saturates this film even more.

Watching vignettes interconnect is always entertaining and interesting, but "Happy Endings" is overstuffed and it creates a disconnect between the characters and the audience, which no amount of character interconnectedness can solve.


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