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