18 certificateHappiness is a Film programme that first aired in 1999 and has been classified a 18 certificate.

Happiness is a 4 star programme

Image for the Film programme "Happiness"

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Happiness (1999)

Directed by
Todd Solondz

This extraordinary black-comedy drama is quite superb. A subversive take on families, romance and marriage, it lifts the lid off an apparently ordinary suburban community to reveal some very unsavoury secrets.

Brilliantly scripted and directed by Todd Solondz, the film focuses on a range of tortured souls in New Jersey, working out lives of quiet desperation in the search for contentment. The film treads into dangerous territory - including obscene phone calls, paedophilia and murder - with disturbing and wickedly funny results.

Dylan Baker (pictured) puts in a brave performance as the apparently normal suburban husband. He's a psychiatrist who, in reality, is sicker than most of his patients, who include obscene phone caller Allen, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. Meanwhile Ben Gazzara and Louise Lasser are outstanding as a couple facing the 40-year itch.

The powerful ensemble cast make perversity seem normal in a drama that knows no bounds. Prepare to cringe.

Written by

Genre: Film

Running Time: 140 minutes (approx)

Production Year: 1999

4/5 Stars

Classification: 18 Certificate

Production Country: USA

Filmed in Colour


Jane Adams...Joy Jordan
Image for Jon LovitzJon Lovitz...Andy Kornbluth
Image for Philip Seymour HoffmanPhilip Seymour Hoffman...Allen
Image for Dylan BakerDylan Baker...Bill Maplewood
Image for Lara-Flynn BoyleLara-Flynn Boyle...Helen Jordan
Justin Elvin...Timmy Maplewood
Cynthia Stevenson...Trish Maplewood
Lila Glantzman-Leib...Chloe Maplewood
Gerry Becker...Psychiatrist
Rufus Read...Billy Maplewood
Image for Louise LasserLouise Lasser...Mona Jordan
Image for Ben GazzaraBen Gazzara...Lenny Jordan
Camryn Manheim...Kristina
Arthur J. Nascarella...Det. Berman
Molly Shannon...Nancy