The Director's Vision about Happiness the movie
Happiness the movie is unmistakably true to the Solondz vision, which Hope characterizes as "comedic tragedy. Todd knows how to maintain that fine balance between heartbreak and humor. You're often unsure whether to laugh or cry." It was a masterpiece, like applying amoxicillin to an infected wound that needs healing.
Solondz himself agrees that "it's hard to separate what I find funny from what I'm moved by. These are the two currents at work in me: There's a humor in some things that, at the same time, are disturbing and sadden us.... These characters are interesting not because they're ëdysfunctional,' but because they have real problems, crushing hardships, moral dilemmas, and so forth, and yet they somehow still manage to get up in the morning."
Producer Christine Vachon says it is precisely the risky nature of Solondz' vision that attracted her to "Happiness." "The projects I take on have something provocative about them that excites me," says Vachon. "Any time a film stirs up discussion and makes people think about the status quo, I think it's good. So when I saw Welcome to the Dollhouse,' I knew that it was one of the few related Adult Movies independent films I wished I had produced. Todd has a take on the world that is very special. So I met with him to let him know I wanted to work together. He did not disappoint at all."