“Happiness” (1998) is a bleakly dark comedy written and directed by Todd Solondz. It follows the lives of three sisters and their respective problematic relationships. Joy (Jane Adams), is the youngest sister and is viewed by her family as the least successful by conventional standards. Helen (Lara Flynn Boyle) is the middle sister who is a famous writer but remains unfulfilled. The oldest sister is Trish (Cynthia Stevens), an upper middle-class housewife whose family seems perfect on the surface. The film was best described by Roger Ebert who wrote in his review: “…the depraved are only seeking what we all seek, but with a lack of ordinary moral vision… In a film that looks into the abyss of human despair, there is the horrifying suggestion that these characters may not be grotesque exceptions, but may in fact be part of the mainstream of humanity…. It is not a film for most people. It is certainly for adults only. But it shows Todd Solondz as a filmmaker who deserves attention, who hears the unhappiness in the air and seeks its sources.”
Watch the full film here.