Happy Tears

February 19th 2010
  • Drama,
  • R,
  • 95 min,
  • Roadside Attractions
  • Cast: Demi Moore, Parker Posey, Rip Torn, Ellen Barkin, Christian Camargo, Billy Magnussen, Roger Rees, Sebastian Roche, Susan Blommaert, Victor Slezak, Celia Weston, T. Ryder Smith, Richard Barlow, Tom McNutt, Jacquelyn Conforti, Julianna Conforti, Patti D'Arbanville, David L. King, Alyssa Klein, Kathy Nowrey, David Adam Smith, Kimberly Villanova
  • Director: Mitchell Lichtenstein
  • Writer: Mitchell Lichtenstein
  • Producer: Joyce M. Pierpoline
  • Associate Producer: Richard Lormand
  • Executive Producer: Jonathan Gray
  • Art Direction: Scott Anderson
  • Costume Design: Stacey Battat
  • D.O.P.: Jamie Anderson
  • Editor: Joe Landauer
  • Makeup: Theodora Katsoulogiannakis
  • Music: Robert Miller
  • Production Design: Paul Avery
  • Set Decoration: Tora Peterson


Jayne (Parker Posey) and Laura (Demi Moore) are about to take on the first man they just might not be able to handle: their seventy something-year-old father Joe (Rip Torn). Dutiful daughters returning to the house they grew up in, Jayne and Laura are forced to take a closer look at their own not-so-perfect lives while dodging childhood memories.

Laura suspects that Joe needs full-time care, but Jayne refuses to believe that their father’s condition is that serious. Jayne's compulsion to escape reality only increases Laura's attempts to yank her back down to earth. Meanwhile, Joe still sings and plays the blues on his prized guitar, and the lively widower even has a new "ladyfriend," shameless and sassy Shelly (Ellen Barkin). But as the visible moments of their father's impending senility increase, the family dynamics spiral out of control.

Tensions flare as the close sisters must also juggle their own very different lives – Laura's busy environmentalist work schedule and mother of three small children, and Jayne, desperate to finally have a baby with her workaholic art-dealing husband Jackson (Christian Camargo).

Their adventures back home are not without magic, mischief and mayhem, and even a search for buried treasure in the backyard! In the end, any tears that Jayne and Laura might shed will be happy ones.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Filming Locations: Pennsylvania, USA
  • MPAA Warning: Language, drug use, and some sexual content including brief nudity
  • Production Companies: Pierpoline Films
  • Production Schedule: April 2008 - June 2008

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2010 Guide Analysis: "Premiering at Berlinale in February, this new effort from "Teeth" writer/director Mitchell Lichtenstein was picked up by Roadside Attractions who're planning a limited release very early into the new year. Reviews cited a deliciously eccentric turn from Posey and Moore's best performance in years, combined with some unpredictable touches in an obviously low-budget affair. Should find a strong life on DVD."

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