While the festival officially opened today, only one movie screened, the opening night showing of Don Roos’ “Happy Endings”. Since moving its opening night festivities last year to Park City, from Salt Lake City, the quality of the opening night films has improved. Last year’s showing of “Riding Giants” was a fun choice and while Roos’ latest film doesn’t quite have the sharpness of “The Opposite of Sex,” its a worthy new movie.
Pulling off a film with interconnected storylines and an ensemble cast can be a challenge, and with a talented cast playing often unlikable characters that make some surprisingly bad choices, “Happy Endings” hits a few stumbling blocks. Jesse Bradford’s portrayal of a manipulative wanna-be film student is quite entertaining, Maggie Gyllenhaal shines as a breathy crooner, and Tom Arnold does a terrific job showing another side of himself on screen, but its Jason Ritter who really shines as a teenaged drummer trying to come to terms with his own sexuality.