A particularly dark comic tale of three sisters
"Happiness" is an unusually dark comic tale from writer / director Todd
Solondz. Dealing with the personal lives of three middle class sisters,
the film soon enters dark territory yet retains its ability to amuse as
well as shock.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is on top form as the deep breathing 'phone
menace, Allen, who will soon meet equally mixed-up individuals in his
apartment block. Dylan Baker plays the paedophile Bill Maplewood with
At the end of the day, though, this is the tale of three sisters and
the performances from the leading ladies are excellent. Jane Adams,
Cynthia Stevenson and Lara Flynn Boyle are very believable in their
roles and the viewer is gripped by their separate plot lines.
7 out of 10..
The 'Goodfellas' of Depressing Cinema
I watched this film as a seventeen year old and remembered only that it
was depressing but hilarious. When I watched it again tonight I
couldn't stop thinking about 'Goodfellas' and how closely twinned these
two movies are. They might seem totally disparate, but...they are both
long films that feel much shorter than their running time; both contain
horrible events that you can't avert your eyes from; and both are
entirely without redemption. Just as we leave Henry Hill full of
regrets and boredom, so too do we leave the three luckless sisters
around whose lives 'Happiness' revolves - Joy, Helen and Trish - with
unfulfilled dreams and licking male bodily fluids from a dog's mouth...
Perhaps they're not as alike as I first thought..