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Happy Endings
7 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Don Roos

Written By:
Don Roos

Tom Arnold, Jesse Bradford, Bobby Cannavale, Sarah Clarke, Steve Coogan, Laura Dern, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Ritter, David Sutcliffe, Hallee Hirsh, Eric Jungmann, Kim Morgan Greene

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Happy Endings (2005)
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Movie Review by Joe
November 2nd, 2006

I heard a little about this movie before I bought it, but in reality after watching it I realized that I knew nothing about the movie's premise, which to me, was a blessing.

I wasn't expecting much out of the movie, so maybe that's why I've garnered such praise for it, because it exceeded my expectations in huge ways.

A 'happy ending,' for those who don't know, is at the end of a massage, the person massaging you delivers a 'happy ending,' which is usually sexual in nature (now this doesn't occur every time, usually only when you ask for it, even then it's rare). So I thought the movie was just about that (I'm not sick either, so get your minds out of the gutter!)

Director Don Roos delivers a tongue-in-cheek antidote regarding this 'happy ending,' as we are introduced to ten characters who are intertwined, albeit sometimes very haphazardly.

Our one story, the main story, centers around Miriam 'Mamie' Toll (Lisa Kudrow) and her stepbrother Charley Peppitone (Steve Coogan). The movie begins in the past, when the teenage step-siblings partake in activities most West Virginians would do, and she ends up pregnant, and heads to get an abortion. Years later, we discover that she never had the abortion, but everyone else in her family (including Charley) thinks she did. Now she's being blackmailed by wannabe director Nicky (Jesse Bradford), who wants to document her reuinion with her son so he could get into A.F.I. She refuses, but helps him out by making a documentary with the help of her now boyfriend Javier (Bobby Cannavale), a documentary about a masseuse who gives happy endings.

Charley has his own storyline, as he is now gay and living with his life partner Gil Palmer (David Sutcliffe). Gil's best friend Pam (Laura Dern) and her girlfriend Diane (Sarah Clarke) has just celebrated their child's birthday, a child whose father is unknown due to the fact that Pam got the sperm from a sperm bank. Charley has the sinking suspicion that the baby is actually Gil's, and he goes to great lengths to prove his theory right.

Then there's Jude (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a singer who just joined a band led by Otis McKee (Jason Ritter), who is struggling with his own sexuality. Jude blackmails him and after a one-nighter with him, soon goes for his rich father Frank (Tom Arnold), and quickly wins his heart - and his pocketbook.

Secrets, lies, deception, and blackmail abounds in this movie, and it seems like each character is heading for a dangerous conclusion. All hope seems lost, yet this is where Roos takes the spin of 'happy endings' and actually has a happy ending for pretty much every character in the movie.

After it was over, I realized what a diamond in the rough this movie was. I highly recommend you see it.

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Mar 20, 2007 2:27 PM
also wrote a review of Happy Endings
I keep meaning to watch this because Lisa Kudrow is in it and she's such an undervalued actress. I'll head over to NetFlix to do just that.

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