Me and Todd Solondz go way back when he was still messing around with short films concerning society and how to make fun of it in a thought-provoking way. Before watching this movie, I knew something has to be wrong and controversial with it. Because Solondz has a twisted perception on happiness.
The plot follows the destiny of three sisters and the ones around them. The young sister is a sensual successful author (Sandra Brown style) but emotionally unfulfilled. She is always complaining about how everyone loves only her mystique nature and not her whole self, so on & so forth… She falls in love with her neighbor, the i-really-need-to-get-laid type of guy, who makes anonymous obscene phone calls to her apartment. I haven’t seen so much sexual tension since Marilyn Monroe sung ‘Happy Birthday!’ for JFK. And it gets even worse… or better, it depends on your inclinations.
The middle sister is the typical housewife, happily married to some psychologist, with three kids and a big house. Something has to be wrong here. Well, her husband is a pedophile and rapes two classmates of his son, both boys. Interestingly enough, the rape is only implied, not shown so feel free to imagine stuff.
The eldest sister is a folk singer who never achieved anything in her life. She works in telephone sales, but, suddenly, feels the urge of doing something more profound. Thus, she becomes a teacher in an immigrant-education center. Her students hate her, her ex-boyfriend commits suicide and she falls in love with a married Russian guy who leaves her without her guitar, a stereo and $500. Being overly sensitive sucks. That constant struggle with yourself is exhausting!
After 40 years of marriage, the sisters’ parents are separating. Apparently, the father is bored with this relationship. Still, he refuses the mighty divorce maybe because he would like a way back in or because he just wants to be left alone without a big fuss. After an unsuccessful affair with an old lady in a pool-house, he finds out that he suffers from anhedonia.
However, not everyone ends up miserable. At the end of the movie, Billy, the pedophile’s kid, after numerous attempts of making himself ejaculate, he finally succeeds.
I disagree with Roger Ebert. Todd Solondz never bothered to seek the sources of unhappiness. He just likes to be censored.