Happy Endings

Director: Don Roos
Screenwriters: Don Roos

Institute History

  • 2005 Sundance Film Festival


Happy Endings is a wildly original and supremely self-conscious comedy by a filmmaker, Don Roos, who clearly embraces the complexity and ambivalence of modern life. If you thought you knew all about love, relationships, and contemporary American families, guess again. Roos will further enlighten and entertain you in this often hilarious and always compelling treatise on our mercurial day-to-day existence. With its exorbitant wit and nonstop surprises, Happy Endings combines original storytelling with original stories that fundamentally question our presumptions about the way real America lives.

The multiple narrative lines include a filmmaker blackmailing a woman about a son she long ago gave up for adoption; a gay man whose partner was, or perhaps wasn't, the sperm donor for two of their best friends, a lesbian couple; and a 30-something girl who shacks up with a young man trying to convince his father he's straight and then moves on to the dad. In other words, is a true feast of secrets, missed opportunities, and second chances. Roos is a modern American Brecht with unsurpassed comic sensibility and insight.

Aided by a fantastic ensemble cast that features Lisa Kudrow, Jesse Bradford, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and a great turn by Tom Arnold, and by a brilliant use of title cards, Roos is a filmmaker in complete control of his art, who understands that happy endings aren't always what you expect.

— Geoffrey Gilmore

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]