Happiness (1998)

Unrated   |    |  Comedy, Drama


Happiness (1998) Poster

The lives of several individuals intertwine as they go about their lives in their own unique ways, engaging in acts society as a whole might find disturbing in a desperate search for human connection.

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7.8/10
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  • Lara Flynn Boyle and Jane Adams in Happiness (1998)
  • Dylan Baker in Happiness (1998)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in Happiness (1998)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman and Camryn Manheim in Happiness (1998)
  • Ben Gazzara and Elizabeth Ashley in Happiness (1998)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman and Lara Flynn Boyle in Happiness (1998)

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22 June 2000 | johnpil
Transfixed, mortified, amused, devastated
Gradually, as I watched this movie, I became aware that I was witnessing some of the most powerful and honest acting, writing, and directing I had ever experienced. And I'm glad, because if this material had been attempted by anyone without extreme skill and sensitivity, it would have been a monstrous disaster. As it is, I don't think I would add it to my DVD collection. I don't know if I could watch it again, and I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable people seeing it on my shelf unless they knew me well. There are moments of great hope in this movie, when you think misery may finally give way to happiness. There are moments of great honesty, when a character says just what you'd expect them to say, and you realize how "safe" every other movie character has been in comparison. The humor that other reviews talk about is not the kind of humor that makes me laugh, personally. It's the dark, visceral humor of human weakness, meanness and even pathology. I still appreciate it for what it is, and it is used in a profound and delicate way. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who is willing to accept that life, and especially sexual life, is really much more complex and difficult than we usually admit. I recommend watching it alone, or with a friend or partner with whom you can discuss the most emotionally difficult topics. This movie will test you if you stick with it, but you'll know you saw something profound.

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Genres

Comedy | Drama

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