What is happiness? Ultimately, that question lies at the root of this film. It appears that, in the writer’s mind, happiness is something dark, disturbing and best left alone.
“Happiness” tells the stories of a dysfunctional family and those who come in and out of their lives and their various pursuits of that elusive happiness. Those who actively seek it tend to be the most miserable while those who seemingly have it all tend to be the furthest from it. Along the way, they trash the lives of those left in their wake and each other – all while searching for some sort of joy in life that they either can’t achieve, won’t allow themselves to enjoy or don’t recognize when they find it.
A nihilistic look at the quest for happiness, the film offers up some truly disturbing moments – at times crossing the line between “raw” and “crass”. There are some watershed moments and some strong performances, but overall these are the interwoven tales of lovable losers at best and a pack of degenerates at worst – most of whom the viewer either doesn’t care about or actively hopes DON’T find happiness.
In short, if you’re looking for happiness, look elsewhere.