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Happiness Movie Review Summary

Actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Dylan Baker, Lara Flynn Boyle

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Happiness

This is a very funny and unsettling movie. Ostensibly about three middle class sisters -- a happily married housewife (Cynthia Stevenson), a glamourous single poet (Lara Flynn Boyle), and a comparatively plain-jane loser (Jane Adams) -- and their problems with their family and sex lives, "Happiness" tends to draw one's attention to the males in the plot. One is the housewife's husband, a successful psychiatrist and incipient pedophile attracted to his 11-year-old son's playmates (Dylan Baker), and the other, one of the psychiatrist's clients -- an overweight loser who lives down the hall from the poet sister and lusts after her, makes obscene phone calls to her, and masturbates incessantly (the astounding Philip Seymour Hoffman). The son and a dog also figure in. As this much suggests, the ironically titled film is highly disturbing as well as amusing. All the acting is excellent, especially Baker, Hoffman, and Adams (you can also glimpse Louise Lasser, Ben Gazzara, and Camryn Manheim in the supporting cast), and it's quite an achievement to make a pedophile the most sympathetic character in one's story, but I can't award the movie a 10 simply because it is so depressing and bitingly heartless.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus



Script Analysis of Happiness

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Inner struggle or disability    -   Yes Struggle with    -   (General) search for meaning/identity Taboo Sex Story?    -   Yes Kind of sex:    -   molestation Brain/Body not working?    -   mental illness Battle with shrink/bum?    -   battle with a psychiatrist

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American Unusual characteristics:    -   Mentally ill    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   kissing    -   touching of personal anatomy    -   seeing nude female butt    -   seeing nude male butt    -   sex under blankets Any profanity?    -   Some foul language

Movies with storylines, themes & endings like Happiness

Happiness Message Board (click here)
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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