Watch Happiness

"Finding happiness can be a tragic comedy."
  • NC-17
  • 1989
  • 2 hr 14 min
  • 7.7  (73,912)
  • 81

The film "Happiness" is a dark comedy that explores the lives of several interconnected characters living in suburban New Jersey. Each character is struggling with their own personal demons and issues, and is searching for happiness in their own way. The movie opens with the character Joy (Jane Adams), a struggling writer who is desperate for a connection with another human being. She is lonely and isolated, even though she is surrounded by people who care about her. Joy decides to seek out a therapist, and this decision sets off a series of events that will change the lives of everyone around her.

Throughout the film, we are also introduced to a number of other characters who are struggling with their own problems. Allen (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is a lonely and socially awkward man who is in love with his neighbor, but has trouble expressing his feelings. Bill Maplewood (Dylan Baker) is a successful psychiatrist who secretly harbors pedophilic desires. His wife, Trish (Cynthia Stevenson), is a loving but naive mother of three who is struggling to hold her family together.

As the movie progresses, each of these characters grapples with their own issues and desires. Joy struggles to find a meaningful relationship, while Allen tries to navigate his feelings for his neighbor. Bill is consumed by his dark desires, and Trish is forced to confront the truth about her husband.

The film is full of dark humor and uncomfortable moments, as the characters' lives intersect and unravel in unexpected ways. At times, the humor is bleak and almost painful to watch, but it serves to highlight the absurdity of the characters' lives and situations.

Throughout the film, director Todd Solondz does an excellent job of creating a sense of tension and unease. He uses long, slow-paced shots to heighten the sense of discomfort, and the film's soundtrack is intentionally jarring and unsettling.

The acting in the film is superb, with several standout performances. Jane Adams is heartbreaking as Joy, capturing the character's loneliness and desperation perfectly. Jon Lovitz is surprisingly effective as a depressed and suicidal man, bringing a level of depth and authenticity to his performance that is unexpected.

However, it is Philip Seymour Hoffman who steals the show with his portrayal of Allen. Hoffman is able to convey the character's inner turmoil and insecurity with remarkable skill, and his performance is both sympathetic and unsettling.

Overall, "Happiness" is a thought-provoking and emotionally challenging film that will stick with you long after it's over. It's not an easy movie to watch, and some viewers may find the subject matter uncomfortable. However, for those who are willing to take the plunge, it offers a powerful and unforgettable viewing experience.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    2 hr 14 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.7  (73,912)
  • Metascore