What a way to end the fest... Wednesday's screening of "Happy Tears," an awkward and unfortunate family story starring Demi Morre, Parker Posey and Rip Torn. Mitchell Lichtenstein's follow-up to "Teeth," I'm sorry to say, is an uneven mess. A weak script, erratic performances, bad music, strange tone, it just never comes together. Leslie Felperin's Variety review was a bit more forgiving. It begins, "Like its almost oxymoronic title, indie pic “Happy Tears” is a contradictory creature, both insightful and dumb, sometimes innovative and sometimes just plain inept." Cinetic is selling the film, and I certainly wish them luck with the film in this tough marketplace, but a number industry insiders I spoke with today were shocked at how bad this film is. One buyer told me via email:
"I thought 'Happy Tears was an embarrassment. That film is in competition???? I would be more forgiving if it was in comp in sundance but the programming here is seriously bad. I was floored it was premiering here. It's a market film at best. And people wonder why buyers get so cynical!"
Sorry Berlin, but you reject "Push" and accept this?? Ugh.