Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Endings (2005) R - 2½ Stars

I like the use of self narration in this movie to help stay on track of what events you should pay attention to. There are lots of characters, loosely interacting and it helps keep you focused. While everyone seems to have a dysfunctional edge to their lives and relationships, the movie is cast well with everyone fitting believably into their characters. I found myself compassionate to everyone. With a good mix of comedy and drama entwined, the three separate plots get a bit confusing. The ending made no sense to me at all of the people who end up together.

Mamie (Lisa Kudrow), and Charley (Steve Coogan), start their teen lives out by sleeping together just as their parents are getting married. These step siblings end up making a baby and Mamie is sent away to supposedly have an abortion. Instead, she carries the baby to term and gives it up for adoption. Charley doesn't know he has a son. 20 years later, a young filmmaker Nicky (Jesse Bradford), shows up at Mamie's door to blackmail her. It seems he won't tell Mamie anything about her long lost son, unless he can film a documentary of their meeting.

Meanwhile, Charley has come out of the closet and is involved in a relationship with Gil (David Sutcliffe). Life is good for the couple until Charley keeps pushing Gil into the possibility that the son of their best friends, is his child. Oh, their best friends are Pam (Laura Dern) and Diane (Sarah Clarke), a lesbian couple. Diane has always said she was impregnated with from a sperm bank, but originally it was Gil who had donated his sperm. Even though the four have been good friends for years now they are engaged in a nasty custody battle of paternity.

Now then there's Javier (Bobby Cannavale), Mamie's boyfriend, who tries to convince Nicky to film his life as a massage therapist instead. And then there is Jude (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who just got thrown out of her cousins house and moves in with Otis (Jason Ritter). Jude tries to convince Otis's father Frank (Tom Arnold), that Otis is not gay. While Frank is relieved to know his son is not gay, he also forms a strong attraction for flirting Jude and before long finds himself
in her bed.

Director: Don Roos
Writer: Don Roos
Producers: Holly Wiersma, Michael Paseornek
I viewed 7/09

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