Synopsis: Happiness is a 1998 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Todd Solondz, that portrays the lives of three sisters, their families and those around them. The film was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival for "its bold tracking of controversial contemporary themes, richly-layered subtext, and remarkable fluidity of visual style," and the cast received the National Board of Review award for best ensemble performance. The film spawned the pseudo-sequel Life During Wartime which premiered at the 2009 Venice Film Festival.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actors: Jane Adams, Jon Lovitz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Dylan Baker
Production: Trimark Pictures
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 12 wins & 25 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.8
Metacritic:
81
Rotten Tomatoes:
83%
UNRATED
Year:
1998
134 min
350 Views

1.EXT. HAPPY'S RESTAURANT - NIGHT.1.

The sign is illuminated.

2.INT. HAPPY'S RESTAURANT - NIGHT.2.

Pretty, 30ish JOY JORDAN and teary-eyed STUART sit opposite

each other. He is trying to resist bursting into tears as

they finish dessert.

JOY:

Stuart?� Are you okay?

STUART:

Yeah. Sure. I'm fine.

JOY:

Good. Well. I had a really nice time.

STUART:

Yeah. Me too.

JOY:

Of course, you know I've always

had a nice time with you.

STUART:

Same here.

JOY:

But�

STUART:

Yeah.

JOY:

You understand.

STUART:

Unh.

JOY:

And you don't hate me?

STUART:

No.

JOY:

'Cause you know I could never

hate you. At the same time, I just

don't think I could ever�you know�

you. In the way you should be�

STUART:

Yeah.

JOY:

And deserve to be.

STUART:

Unh hunh.

JOY:

Well. The food here was excellent�

I'm gonna recommend it to my

sisters! How many stars did it get?

STUART:

Three and a half.

And the dam cracks wide open. He bawls. A pause.

JOY:

Do you feel better now?

(STUART nods)

Me too.

STUART:

I'm sorry.

JOY:

It's really good we had this talk.

STUART:

Yeah.

JOY:

Before things went too far�

You know, got too serious.

STUART:

Yeah. I'm sorry. I'm too serious.

JOY:

No, you're not. It's me.

STUART:

No, it's me.

JOY:

Okay. It's you. I'm sorry.

STUART:

Okay.

Pause.

JOY:

'Cause I mean�

STUART:

I know.

JOY:

The thing is, I want to do what's

right � for both of us. I spent

a lot of time�examining�my heart.

And I felt that you deserved

my honesty.

STUART:

Thanks.

Pause.

JOY:

Now I just want to make you

whole again.

STUART:

I'm whole.

JOY:

Really?

STUART:

Really.

JOY:

�'Cause I was afraid we wouldn't

be able to be friends anymore.

STUART:

(laughing, sort of)

Oh, Joy!

JOY:

Oh, but you know how it is.

And well, most guys�

STUART:

I'm not most guys.

JOY:

I know. If only most guys were

like you.

STUART:

But then I'd be like most guys.

JOY:

(laughs)

Oh, Stuart. If only I felt the way

I'd like to feel with you� Life is

so unfair. It's all my fault.

STUART:

I know.

(a beat)

Are you sure�?

JOY:

Yes.

Pause.

STUART:

Is it someone else?

JOY:

No, it's just you.

Pause.

STUART:

I want to show you something

I got for you.

JOY:

For me?

STUART:

(hands her a gift)

Open it up.

JOY:

(discovers a pewter ashtray)

Oh, but Stuart. This is�oh,

this is beautiful.

STUART:

Thanks. It's a Gainsevoort

reproduction. Boston, late 1800's.

I sent away for it just after

we had our�first date.

JOY:

Oh, I just love it. It's a�it's a

collector's item.

STUART:

Yeah, it is pretty special.

JOY:

(laughs)

It almost makes me want to start

smoking again!

STUART:

Look at the bottom.

JOY:

(examines more closely)

Ooh.

STUART:

Forty karat gold-plate inlaid base.

JOY:

Oh, Stuart. Thank you. This really

means something to me. I'll always

treasure it�as a token�

STUART:

No, you won't.

(retrieves his gift;

a sudden shift in emotion:)

'Cause this is for the girl who

loves me. The girl who cares for me,

for who I am, not what I look like.

I wanted you to know what you'd be

missing. You think I don't appreciate

art. You think I don't understand

fashion. You think I'm not hip.

You think I'm pathetic, a nerd,

a lard-ass fatso. You think I'm shit.

Well, you're wrong. 'Cause I'm

champagne. And you're shit.

And till the day you die, you,

not me, will always be shit.

3.EXT. ROAD - NIGHT.3.

Thunder. Rain. STUART's car drives by.

4.INT. STUART'S CAR - NIGHT.4.

JOY sits beside STUART, who is driving. A plastic "World of

Pewter" shopping bag hangs by the glove compartment.

5.EXT. JOY'S PLACE - NIGHT.5.

The car pulls over.

JOY:

Well, good night.

STUART:

Good night.

JOY gets out. STUART drives away.

FADE TO BLACK.

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Todd Solondz

Todd Solondz (born October 15, 1959) is an American independent film screenwriter and director known for his style of dark, thought-provoking, socially conscious satire. Solondz has been critically acclaimed for his examination of the "dark underbelly of middle class American suburbia," a reflection of his own background in New Jersey.[1] His work includes Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995), Happiness (1998), Storytelling (2001), Palindromes (2004), Life During Wartime (2009), and Dark Horse (2012). more…

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