I saw this movie right after seeing "Me and You and Everyone We Know" and there's a certain shared vision of America that, frankly, makes me a little bit ill. It's not so much that I particularly disagree with the view, it's that it's like there's this little club of independent filmmakers and they've all got to focus on the same damn things. I mean, every single person in their movies is fucked up. Really, you want to walk out of these films and decapitate yourself on the edge of the plastic trash can right outside the theater door.
As its title indicates, this film is about sperm and the long-term effects of its use. Again, it seems as though every character in the movie is incapable of making a good decision. The movie develops from the relationship between Mamie (Lisa Kudrow) and Charley (Steve Coogan). Having just met as stepbrother and stepsister, the two have sex and Mamie gets pregnant. Although she goes off to have an abortion, she ends up having the baby, unbeknownst to Charley. She never tells Charley and as we rejoin the film, their lives begin to unravel.
Mamie is approached by Nicky (Jesse Bradford), who claims to know her son, but wants to extort that information in exchange for help with a movie. Charley is now gay, and suspects his lesbian friends (Laura Dern, Sarah Clarke) of using his lover's sperm to create their child without telling him. Another story intertwines with the main one involving Jude (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who uses a gay boy, Otis (Jason Ritter), to get to his rich father (Tom Arnold) and trap him into marrying her.
Art films suck because one needs to discuss the "plot" in massive detail in order to communicate what the film is about because the plot isn't typically coherent. Instead of "boy meets girl," it's more like "boy meets girl, girl gets pregnant, girl says she's having an abortion but doesn't, 19 years later girl is miserable, other characters enter picture, weird girl does karaoke; etc."
It would be one thing if director Don ("The Opposite of Sex") Roos could do this in 90 minutes, but "Happy Endings" is 128 minutes long. After awhile, the film is the personal equivalent of that annoying, pseudo-intellectual at the party who won't shut the fuck up.
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