Happy Here and Now (review)

There’s supposed to be an enticingly seedy quality to everything happening in this “high-tech” thriller, but don’t be fooled: it’s nothing but the artistic pretensions of writer-director Michael Almereyda at play, and they’re really goofy. A teenage girl’s (Liane Balaban: World Traveler) search for her missing sister leads her to David Arquette’s (It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie) basement pornographer, who communicates with ladies over the Internet, though he disguises his voice and his face on the grainy black-and-white video he transmits? Why? Because it looks all cool and weird and independent-movie-ish, so it’s a perfect match to his rambling philosophizing about the meaning of life, or something. The film is resolutely committed to its affectations of deepness and meaningfulness, but all it imparts is a sense of tediousness.

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