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USA 2006
Directed by
Don Roos
128 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Happy Endings

Happy Endings will either alienate audiences with its meandering, overlapping plotlines or delight for pretty much the same reason.

The film has three main strands: Maime (Lisa Kudrow), who is having an affair with masseuse Javier (Bobby Cannavale), is approached by would-be filmmaker Nicky (Jesse Bradford) who wants to make a documentary about her a reunion with the son she gave up for adoption 19 years ear;lier. In the second strand, Maime's gay step-brother (who also is the father of her child), Charley (Steve Coogan), believes that his boyfriend, Gil (David Sutcliffe), may be the father of the child of a lesbian couple, Pam (Laura Dern) and Diane (Sarah Clarke). Meanwhile, Jude (Maggie Gyllenhaal), hooks up with Otis (Jason Ritter), the gay drummer in a garage rock band who works in Charley’s restaurant and is in love with him although she soon dumps him for his rich and lonely father, Frank (Tom Arnold).

The format of interconnecting storylines is a familiar one but Roos not only amusingly pushes it to breaking-point complexity but his engaging characters are deftly-written and their situations treated with genial light-heartedness. Lisa Kudrow is wonderful, as always, as is Maggie Gyllenhaal, but these are only the two most memorable players amongst an outstanding cast list of actors best known for their appearances in non-mainstream productions. Whilst the plotting admittedly does get a tad out of hand as we finally confront the said happy endings, the film manages to convince by making the characters and their relationships a microcosm of the ploys and deceptions that constitute the human comedy.




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