Happy Endings (2005)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Music


Happy Endings (2005) Poster

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


6.4/10
8,690

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  • Don Roos at an event for Happy Endings (2005)
  • Tom Arnold and Jason Ritter in Happy Endings (2005)
  • Lisa Kudrow and Jesse Bradford in Happy Endings (2005)
  • Lisa Kudrow and Jesse Bradford in Happy Endings (2005)
  • Lisa Kudrow and Bobby Cannavale in Happy Endings (2005)
  • Laura Dern in Happy Endings (2005)

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18 February 2006 | ThurstonHunger
6
| juggling with soap opera abandon
I rented this film out of brotherly love, and it actually starts with a very different act of brotherly love as well...but not the good kind. I didn't even realize this was the director of The Opposite of Sex until discussing this with a friend.

Anyways, I don't find this to be a comedy, as it is as bemusing as it is amusing. Roos does give a handful of actors chances to go over the top, which works while also giving this a sort of sitcom feel. At the same time, touching upon people's need to have some dirt, or special secret in their lives and using the old movie-in-a-movie trick makes certain this isn't a film that was knocked out as poorly as Mamie (often pronounced Mommy it seemed to me) was knocked up.

The film is a celebration of quirkiness, which thanks to avoiding clichés works okay for me. It actually drew my wife in to watching it with its sort of soap operatic maneuvers. Although the series of false endings, then more denouement, then another false ending she found maddening. She also was distracted by the text sidebars that give us an omnipotent wink as to what is going on, and in some cases completely undercut the dramatic tension going on. Just don't watch the film with subtitles on at the same time...

The idea of the quest for the lost son, as opposed to lost father also was interesting, but this film likes its characters more than its themes I suspect. Again, a sort of soap opera strength.

I recognized but could not place Jesse Bradford here, from his recurring stint on West Wing as a scion of political privilege. And same was true for Bobby Cannavale even goofier here than in the "Station Agent" Really the whole cast seemed to embrace their outlandish characters and I think that's this film's forte. Kind of like watching some nice juggling, and all the balls fall in place ultimately.

6/10

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