Happiness 1998

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Happiness ★★★ 1998

Very disturbing film made for the “love it or hate it” category. There are three middleclass New Jersey sisters—perky housewife Trish (Stevenson), underachieving Joy (Adams) and glamourous writer Helen (Boyle). Trish is married to shrink Bill (Baker) and they have an 11-year-old son, Billy (Read), who's getting curious about sex. His dad is the wrong person to ask since he's a pedophile who abuses his son's friends. Then there's Allen (Hoffman), one of Bill's patients. He makes obscene phone calls to Helen, who turns out to be turned on by the dirty talk. Suburban hell, indeed. Some riveting performances, especially Baker and Hoffman. 139m/C VHS, DVD . Dylan Baker, Cynthia Stevenson, Lara Flynn Boyle, Jane Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ben Gazzara, Louise Lasser, Rufus Read, Jared Harris, Jon Lovitz, Camryn Manheim, Elizabeth Ashley, Marla Maples; D: Todd Solondz; W: Todd Solondz; C: Maryse Alberti; M: Robbie Kondor.