User Score
4.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 71 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 71
  2. Negative: 34 out of 71
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  1. Dec 29, 2012
    9
    Easily the most disturbing and hilarious film simultaneously ever made; the ultimate of dark humor movies. Happiness is an ensemble drama that skips around between multiple storylines. Three sisters; a young women socially isolated seeking relationships, another happily married with a psychiatrist husband and three kids. Unfortunately, her husband develops an unnatural fascination for hisEasily the most disturbing and hilarious film simultaneously ever made; the ultimate of dark humor movies. Happiness is an ensemble drama that skips around between multiple storylines. Three sisters; a young women socially isolated seeking relationships, another happily married with a psychiatrist husband and three kids. Unfortunately, her husband develops an unnatural fascination for his 11 year old son's male classmate, fantasizes about mass killing in a park, and masturbates to teen magazines. One of his patients, Allen (Seymour Hoffman) has a fascination for the third sister who desperately wants to be raped. Meanwhile, the apparently stable 40 year marriage of the sister's parents suddenly unravels when he decides he has had enough and wants to be alone. The lives of these people are all connected by the desire for happiness, often from immoral, dark sources. The only situation that seems out of place is the conversation in a diner where a lady admits to Allen about murdering someone. Clearly this is a film not for everyone due to the disturbing subject matters, it's the zenith of the darkest of dark humor. Fantastic all around performances by a formidable cast, especially Dylan Baker and Seymour Hoffman Collapse
  2. Dec 27, 2013
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This film is stunningly pessimistic, but in a lighthearted and weirdly optimistic way, lending a great insight into the complexities of the human condition. Great performances (especially from Dylan Baker) compliment this eccentric and brave script that fits together like a beautiful jigsaw and stares with a kind of accusatory tenderness into the soul of its audience. The third of three scenes in which Bill Maplewood (the paedophile) and his son discuss sex is so frank and tense, I had it in my head for weeks afterwards. I'd say the line 'Dad, would you ever me?' is one of the most chilling in cinematic history. Apart from Jane Adams' character (Joy Jordan) being pretty annoying, this film is fairly flawless and should be seen by anyone reading this. Expand
  3. Sep 19, 2014
    10
    Truly one of the finest independent American films I have ever seen. A deserved masterpiece. It may be difficult for the modern-day world to watch but it's also equally as necessary. Having seen it now both originally at theatres and now recently on video, my only qualm is that now it seems to be edited somewhat. I hope in future the original version can be seen.
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 30
  2. Negative: 0 out of 30
  1. Everyone who likes this movie calls it "disturbing," but what disturbs me most is the self-loathing laughter it provokes, similar to what one often hears at Woody Allen and Michael Moore comedies.
  2. It's not the subject matter itself that's offensive -- pedophilia is as worthy a topic of investigation as any other. Instead, it's the subject's non-treatment -- we don't learn a thing that rings true.
  3. 90
    Thoroughly realized characters and relationships and Solondz's masterful ability to switch the tone from comic to tragic within the same scene help make Happiness a better film than it might have been otherwise. Much better, in fact.