Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Directed and written by: Todd Solondz
Starring: Selma Blair, Paul Giamatti, lots of other talented people we haven't heard of

I saw Solondz's "Happiness" maybe 4 years ago, and it became one of my favorite movies. It's so wrong it's right. So outlandish it's true. So dark it's funny. The character development in his films are fantastic (take that, Inception), and every time you laugh, you feel bad about yourself. Maybe you feel better about yourself because these characters are so fucked up, thus making you not that fucked up. Maybe we're laughing out of superiority. Maybe you don't think this shit is funny--just sick. Maybe you watch with horror while people like me are laughing. I mean, what else can you do when a little boy forces his underpaid, overworked Mexican nanny to clean up a juice spill moments after she receives news of her grandson's death? Or in the case of "Happiness", how do you deal with the conversation between a child molestor and his son, right after he has raped one of his son's friends? I mean, what else can you do but laugh?

Solondz blows my mind. Solid screenplays, brilliant performances, and just the right balance of comedy and stark, profound, social commentary.