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Happy Endings

Happy Endings recap: Slip of the Tongue

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Happy Endings

Who could have guessed that a week before Thanksgiving, Happy Endings would have me looking for Easter eggs? But that was precisely what happened when word got out on Wednesday that a star from Cougar Town (come back cul-de-sac crew, we miss you!) would be making a brief, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo. I couldn’t help but be in complete search mode to find who it was and where they’d be hiding. Thankfully, the hunt didn’t take too long, as there was plenty of other distractions (hello, raunchy innuendos!) in the episode titled “The Code War.”

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Happy Endings recap: Lie To Me

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Happy Ending

One of the nice things about being a fan of a show that’s still relatively new is that you still get to find out new things about the characters each week.

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Happy Endings recap: Three Men and an Abe-y

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Happy Endings Costumes

Perhaps this is just wishful thinking, but the Happy Endings gang could easily work at Entertainment Weekly. Any group of people that make references to Brett Butler, Lady Gaga’s meat dress, Roman Polanski, Carlito’s Way Sean Penn, I Am Sam Senn Penn, St. Elsewhere, and The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek all within in the span of a half an hour would be welcomed with open arms around these parts. Plus, I really just want Max as a cubicle buddy. Just sayin’.

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Happy Endings recap: Vision Quest

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Happy Endings Lies

For all intents and purposes I should be a Penny. We’re close in age, our love lives are disturbingly similar in many aspects, and I, too, follow the sage advice of Oprah and Jenny McCarthy. But, I can no longer deny it: I am a Max. I would love to be the person with the ah-mah-zing condo (seriously, who needs a vision board when you’ve got those digs?) like Penny, but odds are, like Max, I would probably sleep on a very high quality pool float, eat a lottery ticket or have a secret dog named Mr. Bojangly before that ever happens. The more you know.

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What you don't know about Tom Arnold

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Tom Arnold looks different. On a recent Sunday afternoon, wearing gym clothes and a Red Sox cap, he sits on the rooftop pool deck of his exclusive Santa Monica beachfront high-rise, chomping on Nicorette gum while swigging from a can of Coca-Cola Zero. No longer resembling the obese schmuck who made headlines in the 1990s for what he calls his ”crazy marriage” to and messy divorce from Roseanne Barr, Arnold reveals how pretty much everything you think about him is wrong.

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Great performances by Lisa Kudrow, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Tom Arnold overcome the gameboard contrivances of this arch trifle about gay and straight Angelenos who get things all wrong before getting them right.

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There are pleasing outcomes for almost everyone in Happy Endings, and that’s not good news. Writer-director Don Roos sets up a game board’s worth of dysfunctional characters in his arch trifle of a romantic comedy — as in his much sharper debut, The Opposite of Sex, he’s entranced by the overlap of gay and straight lifestyles among sophisticates who don’t bat an eye at such muddle. And then he lets them make fools of themselves, desiring the wrong people, things, and L.A. signifiers before stumbling into what suits them (and the narrative game board) best.

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Lisa Kudrow, Bobby Cannavale, ...

For his first film since 2000’s Ben-‘n’-Gwyn dud Bounce, writer-director Don Roos tells the intertwining tales of 10 disparate L.A. denizens trying to get a handle on their messy lives. Front and center is Mamie (Lisa Kudrow), a depressed abortion counselor being blackmailed by a sleazy wannabe film student (Jesse Bradford), who claims to have located the child she gave up for adoption years ago under some very hush-hush circumstances — and will reunite them only if he can videotape the whole thing.

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Deal Report

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MOVIES Is Naomi Watts the new Gwyneth Paltrow? Or maybe Jennifer Garner is. Both actresses are taking over roles dropped by Paltrow, who’s opted for a break, having ”completed two films back-to-back immediately following the passing of her father,” according to her rep. The Ring’s Watts is filling in for Gwynnie in Huckabees, the long-awaited next film from David O. Russell (Three Kings). Alias’ Garner is replacing her in director Don Roos’ Happy Endings….

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Jennifer Garner takes Gwyneth Paltrow role

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Jennifer Garner

Need proof of Jennifer Garner’s leading-lady status? She’s now big enough to step into Gwyneth’s shoes. Garner will replace Paltrow alongside Lisa Kudrow in the upcoming indie comedy ”Happy Endings,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. Paltrow left the project in order to take more time to mourn the recent death of her father, Bruce Paltrow, the trade paper reports. The movie, directed by Don Roos (”Bounce”), tells three interrelated stories set in Los Angeles; Garner will play a woman involved with both a father and his son.

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