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|Meet three sisters at the center of a struggle with the secret demons of middle class perfection. There's joy who is rebounding from a break-up with her latest loser boyfriend, helen a glamorous writer looking for drama in a relationship with a obscene phone caller and trish the housewife.|
"Subtly savage... Evilly funny! Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"#1 film of the year! Newsweek Magazine
Editor's NoteBuilding on the darkly comic angst of WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE, Todd Solondz's HAPPINESS conveys suburban desperation and frustration on a larger scale than his previous film. The ensemble cast of characters centers around the lives of three sisters: Joy (Jane Adams), an awkward, naive, and unlucky musician; Helen (Lara Flynn Boyle), a beautiful, self-obsessed writer; and Trish (Cynthia Stevenson), a conservative housewife who is married to Bill (Dylan Baker), a psychiatrist harboring an unhealthy fascination for young boys. Other dysfunctional characters include the sisters' unhappy parents, Lenny and Mona Jordan (Ben Gazzara and Louise Lasser), and the lonely, sex-obsessed Allen (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who lives next to Helen and goes to Bill for therapy.| |At once both scathingly funny and shockingly bleak, HAPPINESS addresses subjects that most films are afraid to touch, including pedophilia and masturbation. Unapologetic and unflinching, Solondz's film features bold performances from the entire cast and makes for uneasy but intriguing viewing as it peers behind the fragile facade of the American dream.
Cast & Crew
|Lara Flynn Boyle|
|Philip Seymore Hoffman|
|Todd Solondz - Director|
|Todd Solondz - Screenplay|
Plot SummaryHAPPINESS fleshes out its grim stories through graphic portraits of aberrant relationships and individual obsessions. The film, centered around three sisters who struggle with the monotony of bourgeois life, leaves the viewer both laughing and gasping, hopelessly reaching for explanations for the behavior of the characters and the cruelty of their uncompromising circumstances. Pedophilia and dark sexual and psychological fantasies are featured as director Todd Solondz (WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE) drags each player in this brightly colored yet depressing party to the brink of their insecurities with marvelous precision and without qualm. The strong cast features Philip Seymour Hoffman, Dylan Baker, Lara Flynn Boyle, Ben Gazzara, and Louise Lasser.
Golden Globe (1999)
|Todd Solondz, Nominee, Best Screenplay - Motion Picture|
|"It's good that we had this talk. Before things went too far...you know, got too serious."----Joy Jordan (Jane Adams) to Andy Kornbluth (Jon Lovitz) |"Yeah...(long pause]...are you sure?"----Andy |"Yes."----Joy |"Is it someone else?"----Andy |"No, it's just you."----Joy|
|"I bore people. People look at me and get bored. People listen to me and they zone out. Bored. 'Who is that boring person,' they think. 'I have never before met anyone so boring.'"----Allen (Philip Seymour Hoffman) to his therapist Bill Maplewood (Dylan Baker)|
|"I'm just so tired of being admired all the time."----Helen Jordan (Lara Flynn Boyle) to her sister Trish Maplewood (Cynthia Stevenson)|
|"Well, I may 'have it all' [makes quote marks in the air] but, you know, sometimes I wonder what my life might have been like if I'd actually tried to write a novel."----Trish to Helen |"I'm sure it would've been good."----Helen|
|"Don't feel guilty."----Diane Freed (Elizabeth Ashley) to Lenny Jordan (Ben Gazzara), after they've kissed |"I don't. I don't feel anything."----Lenny|
|"We all have our pluses and minuses..."----Allen to Kristina (Camryn Manheim), after she's confessed to a heinous crime|
|"So was Mrs. Paley sick, honey?"----Trish to her son Billy (Rufus Read) |"Well, everyone said she was just too strung out..."----Billy |"Now why do people say things like that?"----Trish|"Because she's a drug addict."----Billy|
|"I'm not laughing at you...I'm laughing with you."----Helen |"But I'm not laughing..."----Joy|