Okay, here's some more re-constructed thoughts on Solondz's Happiness
I liked Kids
. . .http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0113540/
It was an interesting look at the horrors of absent parenting.
It depends on the type of disturbing, and how it's presented.
Given that I didn't like any of the characters in Kids
, it's somewhat similar of an approach to Happiness
The difference lies in the presentation. Of course these kids are horribly ignorant and quite lame. They can be quite dangerous as well. The commentary is more important . . . "Look what happens to your kids if you don't take time to be there for them!"
Of course, that's total bullshit if totally believed. Not every kid who has parents who are merely backstage members of their lives will become a horrible sex-fiend, drug-abusing, menacingly-awful teenager.
In that case, it's like the absurdity of Reefer Madness
However, the style of presentation in the film is quite interesting. I can't remember the actual details, blow-by-blow, but it had a better delivery of the events than Happiness
What burns me about Happiness
is the time taken with some of the characters. Little is resolved by the end of the film. The mousy girl is still mousy and very much the sucker. The artistic and hollow nympho is still very artistic and hollow and a nympho. The mother of the pedophile's children is still the mother, and she hasn't changed one bit.
The dad showed a little change . . . he realized that he felt nothing, and that his life was very numb. Yet, he didn't do anything about that. He's at the end of the film, still quite entrenched in his family of dysfunctional love.
The dad's wife, the matriarch, she's still the same, pretty much. She didn't run over the suspected and then-mistress of her husband. She did nothing important.
Nothing happened. In all, it's a pretty sad piece of story-telling. I disagree with life being a series of bad to worse situations, but that's beside the point.
My dislike of Happiness
is less to do with the shocking nature of the pedophile-dad of the one daughter of the family . . . that's fine . . . in fact, if the story centers around that kid of his, it's a great story . . . an interesting story worth development.In the Bedroom
with Sissy Spacek, that's actually an interesting story because of the aftermath of the destructive event that takes place near the beginning of the film.
My comparison of Solondz in less-quality story-telling to that of Kevin Smith is telling . . . Smith suffers from the long-winding nature, but again, his characters, whilst somewhat disturbing, they are generally much more likeable.
I dunno if the words are making any sense, but I know I've seen better disturbing and more of it elsewhere.