Gene (Arkin) is a grumpy mid-level manager in an insurance office; Troy (McConaughey) is a young and cocky prosecutor in the DA's office; Beatrice (DuVall) does housecleaning and is eternally optimistic; Walker (Turturro) is an anal physics professor at Columbia who puts a little spice in his life by cheating on his wife Patricia (Irving). These characters' lives interweave -- sometimes directly and sometimes unbeknownst to them -- as Troy is involved in a hit-and-run accident, and Gene sticks it to a subordinate whose sunny disposition and good luck annoy him. We see these imperfect but likable characters wrestle with their consciences and the huge consequences of small incidents. The film is wry, thoughtful, quiet, with a constemplative Satie-like soundtrack. The stories are related in nonlinear order, which can be a little disconcerting at first but is ultimately refreshing. Arkin is incredibly fine, and most of the rest of the acting is quite good as well. Sisters Jill and Karen Sprecher wrote the story, and Jill directed this 2001 film, partly inspired by Bertrand Russell's book _The Conquest of Happiness_.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus