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Happy Endings

By Wendy Ward | Posted 7/13/2005

A movie in which director Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex) is infatuated with Maggie Gyllenhaal: We get it, she is his muse of some sort, but why is she singing? All. The. Time. Karaoke, with a band, on the soundtrack. Annoying, right? As are the conversational captions taking up half the screen part of the movie—they reveal nothing important that isn’t disclosed by the movie itself. Again, we get it. We complain because the darkly funny Happy Endings draws its satelliting characters into a compellingly interconnected big bang of fibs, withheld information, flat-out lies, and truths. Lisa Kudrow and Steve Coogan are stepsiblings Mamie and Charley; he is gay, she once survived a teenage pregnancy. Shit, this is going to take forever—there are like eight more characters here: Sensitivo Jason Ritter plays Otis, the gay and only son of Tom Arnold’s rich widower Frank. Smooth Bobby Cannavale plays Mamie’s lover, masseur Javier. Laura Dern and Sarah Clarke are lesbians. Creepy/sexy Jesse Bradford plays Nicky, the honest blackmailing idiot you love to hate to love. And Maggie G. is the despicable singing Jude, but not even the Billy Joel covers can stop us from wanting to know where these people end up after the dust settles.

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