A comedy-of-life roundelay about several sexually mixed-updenizens of L.A., "Happy Endings" returns writer-director DonRoos to the sardonic psychological territory he trod in his stinging black-humordebut "The Opposite of Sex."
After opening with a hysterical woman named Mamie (LisaKudrow) getting hit by a car, he introduces a humorously detached meta-filmnarration style when the screen splits in two, and words appear on a blackbackground to reassure us that "No one dies in this movie. It's acomedy. Sort of."
"What happens next," the lettering continues,"was 20 years ago" -- at which point we learn that Mamie gotknocked up at 16 and was supposed to have an abortion, but secretly gaveup the baby for adoption. The unknowing father was her stepbrother Charley(Steve Coogan), who is now gay ("Who isn't?" quips the text onthe screen) and has run the family restaurant business into the groundsince the death of their parents.
But Roos is just getting warmed up. Soon an aspiring documentaryfilmmaker (a scruffy Jesse Bradford) with zero scruples is offering angry,neurotic Mamie information about her son -- but only if he can make a movieabout their reunion. Connected more loosely to these characters are a lesbiancouple (Laura Dern and Sarah Clarke) who may have secretly conceived theirchild with Charley's boyfriend's sperm, and Jude (Maggie Gyllenhaal), ablunt and sultry free-spirited young gold-digger who seduces a sexuallyconflicted rich kid (Jason Ritter) on her way to landing a much biggerfish -- his lonely dad (Tom Arnold).
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