Aroview: Dir. Todd Solondz recasts his controversial 1998 indie hit, HAPPINESS, revisiting the dysfunctional characters and their future lives in this blackly comic sequel, of sorts.
In many ways an attempt to recapture the icky, discomforting satire of before, Solondz has actually delivered a broadly amusing offering that, while still approved for those who like their comedy darkened and grounded in suffering, is surprisingly mild as far as his films are concerned. Much of this can be attributed to the creative ensemble casting, which includes such inspired stand-ins as Michael K. Williams (THE WIRE) for Philip Seymour Hoffman’s obscene phone caller, Ciarán Hinds for Dylan Baker’s pedophile, and Paul Reubens for John Lovitz’s suicidal sad-sack. Beyond the easily enjoyed acting and novelty of reuniting with these memorable depressives though, Solondz’s follow-up is too much of an 'echo' to recommend to those outside of the original film’s cult following.
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