Bryan F. Irrera (bfirrera) wrote,
Bryan F. Irrera

Happy Endings - (Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival movie 2)

Last night I went to see Happy Endings. The listing from the festival page is here. Don't go to the offical website...too many major plot twists are revealed there!

Headlined by an incredible ensemble cast and helmed by director Don Roos, this is a wonderful movie. While some of the humor was reminiscent of "The Opposite of Sex" (Mr. Roos' directorial debut), the intertwining of the seemingly unrelated storylines and the darker subject matter reminded a little of Magnolia.

The on-screen narrator (word cards similar to a silent movie) is still snarky, much in the same way DeDee Truitt is throughout "The Opposite of Sex". Maggie Gyllenhaal's character, Jude, also seemed to me like a slightly more mature, perhaps world-weary version of DeDee.

The three interwined storylines each have their stand out performances: Lisa Kudrow and Jesse Bradford are both wonderful as Mamie and her blackmailer, Nicky. Maggie Gyllenhaal (who does her own singing throughout the soundtrack and is wonderful) and Tom Arnold are great as a mismatched couple. The third storyline, for me, wasn't nearly as engaging, but Laura Dern gave her usual incredible performance. Why don't we see her on screen more often?

Without giving away the surprises there is also an amazing screen moment only about a minute into the picture. The story doesn't let up from that moment, keeping all of these characters balanced quite delicately.

And, yes, true to the title, all the characters, in their own way, have happy endings.

Without a second thought, I immediately gave it a "great" rating. I don't regret it.

While I would prefer at least a commentary (and hell, deleted scenes, etc.), I'd buy this one completely bare-bones on DVD if that were the only way I could get it.
Tags: movie/filmfests/philly/gaylesbian, movies/movie_reviews

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