Happy Endings (2005)

DON ROOS

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BB.5

USA, 2005.  Lions Gate Films.  Screenplay by Don Roos. Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .   Film Editing by .  

Don Roos ignores the speedbump of Bounce and returns to the flavour of his directorial debut The Opposite Of Sex with this shrewd but downbeat multi-character study. At the center of the magnolia-leaved roster is as a bitter divorcee who is stultified when a young filmmaker shows up () looking to exploit a past skeleton in her closet. Meanwhile, her stepbrother () and his boyfriend () throw their relationship with their two best friends (Laura Dern, who is wonderful, and ) into jeopardy when Coogan insists that the female couple’s baby was created with a stolen sample of Sutcliffe’s sperm. Maggie Gyllenhaal is lively and appropriately unbathed as a drifting singer who charms her way into the life of closeted and his millionaire father (). Performances are at a high throughout, and Roos continues to show an incredible flair for strong, believable and politically incorrect dialogue, but there is very little holding these stories together. None of the characters are particularly sympathetic, and at 130 minutes the film tests your patience with a collection of scenarios that are never intense enough to hold you in your seat. Gyllenhaal’s story particularly brings back images and themes of The Opposite Of Sex, which was much snappier.

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