Preparing for his bar-mitzvah, a young man must deal with his divorced mother's prospective fiance as well as rumors that his own father is not really dead.
The characters in this part-sequel/part-variation on HAPPINESS struggle to find a place for themselves in an unpredictable and volatile world. The past haunts the present and imperils the future: ghosts circle and loom, trouble and console. The question of forgiveness, and its limits, threads throughout a series of intersecting love stories, offering clarity and, possibly, alternatives to the comforts of forgetting(from the presskit).
Solondz says "Ten years have passed since HAPPINESS, but I prefer not to be beholden to the literalness of time or circumstance. I like to tweak things, get at stuff from a fresh angle, and so, for example, some characters have aged five years, some twenty years, some histories have been altered, and I have allowed race not to be something set in stone. Of course, it's a completely different cast. It's more fun and interesting that way."
Ciarán says "Todd Solondz is a very compassionate person."
This accomplished study of a dysfunctional middle-class Jewish family whose members have dispersed from New Jersey to Florida and California is a belated sequel to the same director's ironically titled 1998 black comedy Happiness. It does not, however, feature any members of the original cast. A decade has passed and the paedophile shrink Bill Maplewood (Ciarán Hinds) is out of jail and in suicidal mood, while his wife (Allison Janney) is contemplating remarriage and his two sisters-in-law are respectively an embittered screenwriter in Hollywood and a self-pitying social worker who is haunted by a dead lover and about to become a widow by way of her husband's suicide.
Bill's 13-year-old son, a bright, thoughtful boy on the point of being bar mitzvahed, is not unreasonably preoccupied with questions of forgetting and forgiving, and whether one is possible without the other. The ensemble acting is impressive, but only the director's fans will be satisfied by this quantum of Solondz.
Co-stars: Paul Reubens, Allison Janney, Charlotte Rampling, Shirley Henderson, Chris Marquette
Director: Todd Solondz
Screenplay: Todd Solondz
Run-time: 96 mn
Release date: April 28, 2010
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