When a young woman rejects her current overweight suitor in a restaurant, he unexpectedly places a curse on her. The film then moves on to her sisters. One is a happily married woman with a psychiatrist husband and three kids. Unfortunately the husband develops an unnatural fascination for his 11 year old son’s male classmates, fantasizes about mass killing in a park, and masturbates to teen magazines. One of his patients has an unrequited fascination for the third sister. Meanwhile the apparently stable 40 year marriage of the sister’s parents suddenly unravels when he decides he has had enough and wants to live a hermit’s life in Florida. Obviously, the whole movie is slightly warped in its viewpoint and certainly presents abnormal relationships among all of its parties. –IMDb
Solondz’s first color film with sync sound was the short “Schatt’s Last Shot” (1985). Solondz played a high schooler who wants to get into Stanford, but cannot because his sadistic gym teacher fails him. He also has no luck seducing the girl he desires. It was a student film, and is still screened at NYU, where Solondz made it.
Solondz’s first feature was Fear, Anxiety & Depression (1989), a piece about a writer (Solondz) writing a play and sending it to Samuel Beckett.
Solondz found great critical acclaim with his second feature, Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), a film about the cruelty of junior high school, parents, adult figures, and suburban life. The film won awards at Sundance, Berlin, and countless other festivals for its cruel realism, bitter humor, and unflinching portrayal of adolescence.
His third feature effort, Happiness (1998), was a wildly edgy and provocative film. The film revolves around a group of people who are miserable in their conventional… read more
Picturesque and sadly accurate portrait of the shit that people can be. Flamingos in apartment halls, pastel colors in tailleurs, brushed hair and tidy houses hide a mess that is humanity, shown as a terrible bad idea someone had. Maybe there is a little optimism, but it doesn't come from the successful-organized-smiley people.
Nasty, misanthropic and disgusting. It is hardly terrifying or powerful. The only sad thing is the director's vision which can look on damaged souls with such cold glee. And no I dont buy that this is a countercultural masterpiece. In fact its quite accessible to the dominant culture and makes one despise the 'freaks' that's all. Now Freaks by Tod Browning...now we are talking...
Whatever you say about the films of Todd Solondz, and people usually have a lot to say, his posters are often something special. Whether by
"In revisiting his darkly comic 1998 ensembler Happiness, Todd Solondz may have made his best film with Life During Wartime," proposes Todd
There is something incredibly unsettling about the central point of
Todd Solondz’s Happiness. The point is that the pedophiles, murderers,
sex-phone stalkers and psychopaths of the film are… read review