Life During Wartime
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Directed by Todd Solondz, this ensemble film tells the tale of a large dysfunctional family. Joy (Shirley Henderson) continues to have problems with her husband, Allen (Michael Kenneth Williams), and looks to her family for advice. A dead former boyfriend (Paul Reubens) continues to try to win her heart from the great beyond. Joy's sister, Trish (Allison Janney), meets a retiree whom she hopes will normalize her chaotic life. A third sister, screenwriter Helen (Ally Sheedy), is full of bitterness toward both her family and her career. Their mother, Mona (Renée Taylor), wants absolutely… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"I'd never have predicted something this mediocre."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"For all of Solondz's mischief, we sense he likes his unhelpable characters, and that they maybe like each other. A little bit, anyway."
‑ Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail
"A daring tragicomedy revolving around the theme of forgiveness and forgetting in the post-9/11 years."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A typically horny-thorny Solondzian dramedy...Solondz's is a universe of limitless disappointment. [Blu-ray]"
‑ Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews
"Definitely not a film for everybody, but (Todd) Solondz fans...will find plenty to chew on as he continues his exploration into the wounded lives of three sisters and their fractured families."
‑ Jim Schembri, The Age (Australia)
"Life During Wartime, which feels like a movie made to fulfill a contractual obligation, says nothing new, nothing that Happiness didn't already say, only better."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"An easy film to dislike, a piece of cake to admire and all but impossible to love. But I think that's part of the intent."
‑ Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star
"Strikes the right balance between funny, disturbing and truthful."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A wonderful, must-own transfer by the Criterion Collection of one of last year's best films."
‑ Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine
"Solondz... might have maintained sympathy for these characters before, but now seems to hate them as much as they hate themselves."
‑ Sean Means, Salt Lake Tribune
"The daring director is still a fascinating craftsman, but now we don't feel welcome in his dollhouse."
‑ Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Solondz treats his characters with all the compassion of a child frying ants with a magnifying glass."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"works extremely well, especially in the way its challenging material is contrasted by the bright, sunny cinematography, which captures southern Florida in all its gaudy, inferno-ice-cream-colored splendor"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"It feels a little wrong, even perverse, to describe a Todd Solondz film as 'fun'. But Life During Wartime - the sequel to his acclaimed and highly disturbing 1998 picture Happiness - is fun."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"A mere shadow of its predecessor."
‑ Robert W. Butler, Kansas City Star
More reviews for Life During Wartime on Rotten Tomatoes