I like so much this movie. I found it very funny. Dark humor and so
wonderful acting. Philip Seymour Hoffman was supperb. Although this was
the first time I saw him acting, I think that from here it was obvious
one of the most talented actors in the state. THE SCRIP WAS
AMAZING!!!!. Some cons: I found a little bit confusing the reaction of
the psychiatric son, when he asked him about if he had thought about
having sex with him. That was the lowest part of the movie. The child
cry with the answer but it was not convincing. I like the rest of the
acting. This is the only part of the movie that I really did not like.
It is a great movie in spite of the short funding they had. With a
better photography this could become a real classic..
Solondz is one of the best American directors working today. Period.
I don't want to waste time analyzing the plot since others have covered
it so well... Basically here we have a Robert Altman-esquire pastiche
of characters stemming from a seemingly normal family, plus others who
come into their lives. Solondz sets them up and examines their lives,
their dreams, their interactions and their facades. What's important is
that he doesn't JUDGE these people. And even more importantly, he
doesn't condescend to his audience. Like it or not, the people in this
movie do exist and I think viewers instantly realize that.
This movie stirs up such strange emotions. It's tough to admit that we
may have something in common with a Suburban pedophile, a pathetic
dreamer, a pretentious literary snob or a obscene telephone sex stalker
and one of the most frightening ideas ever put on film is here: Solondz
makes plausible the people we view as being "sick" or generally look
down upon aren't that much different than us. They still want the same
things we do. And he also questions the ideals America seems to hold
most dear, like monogamy and morality. And yeah, happiness. How exactly
DO you find happiness? Is ANYONE really happy?
I cannot recommend HAPPINESS enough (neither can I with the director's
equally impressive and incisive WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE). It's just an
extraordinary movie; surprisingly funny, intelligent, brutally honest,
powerful, original and relevant. The cast is thoroughly excellent and
Solondz follows his own compass at all times in both the scripting and
directing department. He's a brave filmmaker and I really have a lot of
admiration for directors and writers who stray away from the tired
Hollywood blockbuster formula. Good for some popcorn, sure, but aren't
you glad there's other stuff out there to choose from?
Reading some of the other reviews posted here I was surprised at the
amount of negative comments. I guess this isn't for everyone out there.
If you want a fun night of fantasy escapism or a brainless comedy,
don't bother. But if you want a blisteringly funny dose of reality,
then don't miss this! Definitely a top contender for My 10 Favorite
Movies of the 1990s list..