Happy Endings

Details & Information from IMDB

Genre Gay, Comedy, Drama
Year 2005
Duration 128 min
Rating 6.4 out of 10
Description: "All's well that ends swell."

Happy Endings weaves multiple stories to create a witty look at love, family and the sheer unpredictablity of life itself.
Comments: Don Roos wrote and directed this very lively, sometimes poignant though not very funny comedy-drama all centering around an abortion counselor's secret that she had given birth to her step-brother's baby when she was a teenager and quickly gave it up for adoption. In this role, Lisa Kudrow really excels with the writer-director's dryly observant style: she's loose but not flailing, inquisitive but not harping, apprehensive but seldom frightened. Kudrow (whose comic timing reminds one of Roseanne's in the early years of her sitcom) mixes a look of anxiety, despair, nervousness and anticipation with astonishing skill--even when her character is humiliated (or humiliates herself), Kudrow has a way of keeping all the flightiness grounded in some form of reality. Matching her, Tom Arnold and Maggie Gyllenhaal have some wonderful early scenes (she's a born user and a killer karaoke singer; he's the father of the gay twenty-one year old drummer whom she has already seduced and discarded). It's too bad we don't get more of this relationship, and also that Roos covers up most of their dialogue with soundtrack music (it's a coupling which happens in montage). Roos plants little subtitles throughout the movie to help sort out who's-who, and this works to some degree (yet it's a relief when the device is momentarily given a rest). Some of the other story threads are dim (a couple of which center on gay men turning their homosexuality on and off like a light-switch), but Kudrow's work and Tom Arnold's natural, easy-going presence keep the film absorbing and often appealing. And nobody sings "Just the Way You Are" like Gyllenhaal. **1/2 from ****