Directed by Todd Solondz
The lives of many individuals connected by the desire for happiness, often from sources usually considered dark or evil.
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★★★★★ review by DirkH on Letterboxd
It's like unintentionally burping mid-conversation.
It's like having to go to the bathroom really badly while you're stuck in traffic.
It's like walking in on your parents while they're doing the nasty.
It's like misreading an invitation and mistakenly thinking you're going to a costume party.
It's like watching porn with your grandparents.
And I love every single second of it.
★★★★★ review by Arielrocks5 on Letterboxd
There are a lot of movies that end up making you uncomfortable while watching them, be intentionally or unintentionally.
We have our own buttons that people love to push, but then there are sometimes where simply pushing them isn't enough. Some go furiously jab at them at a sporadic pace for over two hours until you finally break down and accept the harsh realities of it all.
With that being said, "Happiness" is the most uncomfortable movie I've ever seen in my god damn life. From the moment we're introduced to most our main characters' intentions and own goals in search for happiness, you end up letting out a awkward, really dry chuckle at the realization of what you're going to be dealing with for the next two hours of your life.
If you're along for the ride, it's an unforgettable, disturbing, shocking, and brutally honest deconstruction of human desires through their own dark, sick, twisted pleasure they gain from such horrible acts against their fellow man.
Each story is connected to each other in some way both in the main running theme throughout the run time and in the actual narrative itself. Yet it never feels like forced. It all feels natural intertwined with and never as disjointed as to be expected. And each shocking and disturbing moment holds their own grounds as interesting reveals of their respective characters and makes you think as well "what would you do to feel a sense of happiness again?"
It's a film that makes you think as much as it makes you want to throw up. And if you're incredibly sick person like me, you'll even find yourself laughing along with the movie only to then turn back back into a squeamish puddle as more disturbing themes rear their ugly heads, but as you do this, the movie is still laughing, Todd Solondz is still laughing, the entire cast is still laughing.
They're in on one of the most amazing jokes ever pulled and it's all on you. Each of these people ya should hate and if you're not along with the film you probably will, but there's still a lot more going on underneath all the shock value and disturbing ideas/imagery.
It's someone taking a giant stake through the typical happy go lucky comedy we were so used to in the 90s and laughing each moment as it spurts out blood from its chest and mouth. It's a deeply deranged and sick fantasy of some of the worst humanity has to offer.
It makes you question your own morality as it goes along. Something that ends up making you laugh at things you wouldn't usually laugh at, all because of how well timed and executed the actual punchline is, how good these actors really are at helping express these horrible things (each time our paths cross again, it makes me realize how much I really do miss Philip Seymour Hoffman), and how good of a director Todd Solondz really is when he's at the top of his game and holding back no punches.
It's not for everyone due to many reasons, but it's certainly for me.....
★★★★★ review by Silent J on Letterboxd
"I'm not laughing AT you. I'm laughing WITH you."
"But I'm not laughing."
Is it fucked up that I laughed my way through all of this?
Is it fucked up that I think the line "I'm champagne. YOU'RE shit!" is the greatest way to tell off your ex I've ever heard?
Is it fucked up that I thought that scene of the kid asking his dad "What does cum mean?" is the strangest and funniest thing I've seen in a movie?
Is it fucked up that I think the Russian Guy is one of the coolest motherfuckers put on screen?
And when Philip Seymour Hoffman came on the wall...I puked a little.
Seriously, don't eat while watching this. I'll never eat again now.
If any of that makes you want to see this, you are as fucked up as I am.
Going into this, I knew absolutely nothing about it and honestly, that's the best way to go into it. If I knew anything, and I mean ANYTHING about it, I probably wouldn't have seen it, but I'm glad I did. It's the one of the funniest films I've ever seen but hands down the most awkward, most uncomfortable, and most disturbing comedy I've ever seen.
★★★★ review by Nathan Rabin on Letterboxd
So it turns out the title IS ironic.
★★★★½ review by Eli Hayes on Letterboxd
Dylan Baker gives one of the most undervalued
performances of the 20th century in this marvel.
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