Good Machine | Release Date: October 16, 1998
3.1
USER SCORE
Generally unfavorable reviews based on 145 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
45
Mixed:
8
Negative:
92
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3
ElliotM.Sep 20, 2002
Unlike Welcome to the Dollhouse, in which the audience develops deep sympathy for the young girl terrorized by her peers, Happiness fails to establish any sort of feelings toward ANY of its many characters, thanks primarily to its inclusion Unlike Welcome to the Dollhouse, in which the audience develops deep sympathy for the young girl terrorized by her peers, Happiness fails to establish any sort of feelings toward ANY of its many characters, thanks primarily to its inclusion of some of the most unnecessary and pointless images in film history. (The film includes not one, but TWO ridiculous ejaculation scenes, one by a pre-teen). Sure, some actors are memorable in their roles, and their portrayals of their characters are somewhat believable (particularly the unstable Joy and her brother-in-law, a pedophile) and a few scenes do invoke occasional laughter; however, the majority of all involved are observed only superficially, so there is a prevailing sense of disbelief that permeates throughout much of the film. Solondz is so hell-bent on disturbing the audience, that he forgets to integrate anything worth watching here. Unlike some films like "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" or "Santa Sangre," which illustrate some of the most distrubing images in history, Happiness lacks substance on so many levels, it reaches the point of humor - which I don't think is Solondz' point. The previously listed films practically breathe substance in every direction: they are fully-formed masterpieces, illicting discomfort not only through their imagery, but through their compelling storytelling. Here we have a film so determined to be shocking and provocative that it forgets to be anything else. It is flat, lifeless, and most of all, not very funny. Grade: D+ Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful
0
DuffioFeb 27, 2012
Supposedly absurdist and very clever, but to me just seemed a monotonous, overly-lengthy, sordid mess with pointlessly dysfunctional 2D characters. Wantonly repulsive and depressing: a black comedy without the comedy. Abysmal.
5 of 9 users found this helpful54
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0
NazguleroApr 13, 2011
Amazing ! I have never in my life seen a movie where pretty much every single scene was disgusting, depressive, and repulsing. Why would a filmmaker make this movie ? What is the message ? What should the audience get out of it ? It simplyAmazing ! I have never in my life seen a movie where pretty much every single scene was disgusting, depressive, and repulsing. Why would a filmmaker make this movie ? What is the message ? What should the audience get out of it ? It simply shows the worst of people, in a ridiculously exaggerated way...
Try assuming that everyone is great, and capable of great things, for a change !
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5 of 15 users found this helpful510
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2
AnthonyP.Jul 12, 2008
Clever, yes, but so utterly cynical, so completely bitter: every single character is either singularly pathetic or reprehensible - almost no complexity or dimension to any person in the film, no handle to grasp anyone's humanity, unless Clever, yes, but so utterly cynical, so completely bitter: every single character is either singularly pathetic or reprehensible - almost no complexity or dimension to any person in the film, no handle to grasp anyone's humanity, unless you accept that humanity is just the pits! The writing is all affect; the lines, gratuitously sardonic: self-involved people happlessly dumping on one another, poisoning everyone, everything in the film, poisoning the film itself. There is no glimpse of potential for any character - no soul; all misery. What amazes me is how much favor it has found with the critics. Are they so cynical, so starved for originalty (one credit to this film) that they are happy to bathe in its abject, unrelenting wretchedness? It must be a holiday of schadenfreude for the culturally overfed! Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
1
RobJul 2, 2003
This movie is unnecessary trash. Who thinks to release this garbage? The scarier part are the people who find this crap entertaining.
0 of 0 users found this helpful