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Look out for more coverage of
Happy Endings in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Happy Endings

Lisa Kudrow • Jesse Bradford • Steve Coogan • Laura Dern • Maggie Gyllenhaal

Javier (Bobby Cannavale) and Mamie (Lisa Kudrow) THE CONCEPT:
Comedy about love and dysfunction that weaves together multiple stories to create a witty look at love, family and the unpredictability of life.

U.S. RELEASE: July 15 2005, Limited • Rated: R


“I wanted to do a movie about a screwed up family, and I thought a step brother [Coogan] and step sister [Kudrow] was an interesting relationship. They make a really big mistake and these two characters do something like Adam and Eve did, and they get expelled. Twenty years later, we pick up and it has had a big effect that they’re not even aware of on their lives, and I thought that was just an interesting story to tell.”

“Don is a phenomenon, because there’s no earthly explanation for how layered and complicated his stories and his characters are, and how effortlessly it seems he directs the film. It was just pure fun.”

“Five days into shooting, I was hit by a car while I was on my bicycle. I ended up beneath it, dragged by it for about 6 to 8 feet. The bulk of the damage was up my side and out onto my arm, it was this big road rash, which you actually see in one shot in the movie. I really liked the idea that we could pass it off as this unfortunate birthmark that my character, Nicky’s, had his whole life. That kind of starts him right off at the outset as being this marked, black sheep, with a physical problem on him, so that’s how it ended up playing, and it was perfect.”

“To make something believable, it requires something genuine. You have to have a certain generosity of spirit toward your fellow actors. This is a steller cast of highly competent actors who all raise to the game. It makes you work that little bit harder. Every word is so well thought out. Don’s very detailed. So, for an actor, it’s just a case of doing justice to the script. That’s why it’s a pleasure and a privilege to be involved in his work.”

“Lions Gate brought up Steve Coogan for the role of Charlie. I said, ‘Who’s Steve Coogan?’ So they sent tapes over of The Alan Partridge Show, that he did in England, where he plays this 45-year-old guy with long hair, horrible character, and I loved the show. But there was noting in that, except that it’s wonderful acting, that could make me think he could play Charlie. But I was intrigued by his talent, we had lunch and I just loved him, and I think he’s just wonderful in this movie.”

“This was like a gift from Don to me, like a graduation present. I was done with the biggest thing I’d ever done (Friends), or will probably ever do, and I was just grateful to be able to concentrated and think about something else entirely. This movie was emotional for us, it fell apart four times, so it was about two years before we got to finally shoot it. It was just momentous.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Happy Endings site
Images above © Lions Gate Films
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #659, July 2005 cover

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