Cast: Lisa Kudrow, Steve Coogan, Jesse Bradford,
Bobby Cannavale, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Ritter, Tom Arnold,
David Sutcliffe, Sarah Clarke, Laura Dern
People deserve Happy Endings for their troubles and toils.
This is true of both fictional and real people. You should go get
yours at any screening of this movie, at least vicariously. Even
if you end up paying a full price ticket, you won’t regret
it, unless you just don’t like relationship flicks. But relax
your pretty little head. This isn’t some movie made for teenagers.
It’s a lot more adult than that, and I for one really appreciate
that. The last thing I need is two more pretty kids having trouble
loving each other. Hell, I didn’t even need that in high school.
OK, I did. You wanna fight about it?
There are many romantic comedies in the history of our society.
Some of them have been quite good, and the rest generally aren’t.
Whenever one fails to join the ranks of good romantic comedies,
there are a few typical examples of why that could be. First, it
could be completely devoid of the realities of people and relationships,
as if it were written by someone only concerned with fairy tales
or children’s stories. Second, it might be emo as hell, just
dripping with sad, dejected characters who might have nothing better
to do than voice their disappointment with how their realities do
not reflect their fantasies. Third, it might completely fail to
deliver on the comedy and fly dangerously close to the realm of
soap opera, something the average moviegoer can watch in the comfort
of his/her own home (but I wouldn’t recommend it).
The way the movie opens leaves you wondering a little about what
the hell this is really all about. But as soon as the “text
narrator” slides in you begin to see. Then you start to love
that narrator, because it does a great job of giving you valuable
information. It takes what would ordinarily be a very confusing
and dull scene and gives you the context you need to understand
and enjoy it. Happy Endings may be a little light on the
comedy at times, but does a fascinating job with real people and
real emotions, even (or especially) Tom Arnold.
“Tom Arnold!?!” you ask? Yes, Tom Arnold. He’s
not his regular old self, and that can say only good things. It
reassured my faith in mankind and his ability as an actor that Tom
could be something other than his TV and movie persona and instead
fall to earth to play a human being that I am eager to empathize
with. In fact, I empathize with all the characters. I just thought
I’d mention Tom Arnold to surprise you. In fact everyone delivers
a solid performance. Lisa Kudrow also surprised
me by playing a 39-year-old without pretending to be younger. I
thought Hollywood women weren’t supposed to admit aging until
they were just old and couldn’t do anything but play old women.
It’s so very refreshing to see these people come down from
their magical places in Hollywood and do something so real for a
Astoundingly original for its genre, Happy Endings does
a fantastic job all around with staying mature about its content.
It focuses on the general theme of truth in relationships without
pounding it into your head repeatedly. Several couples have their
own dishonesties to deal with, and until the truth comes out they
can’t receive their happy ending. However far down the line
it may be. So if you remember liking romantic comedies, but feel
you’ve outgrown them, think again. Happy Endings
has outgrown the rest.
Have you dealt with your dishonesties? Well hurry the fuck up,
Jesus is coming!
Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.
Itís worth a full-price ticket.
Itís worth a matinee ticket.
Wait for video rental.
Check out the video from the library, if you must.
While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...