What Happened Was
Entertainment: +1
Acceptability: -1 1/2

"Sometimes dates are weird," declares Jackie Marsh (Karen Sillas), describing her first meeting outside of work with Michael (Tom Noonan). More like a play, the whole film takes place in Jackie's apartment one Friday night after work. Both Michael and Jackie work in a New York law firm, where Michael, working as a paralegal, takes verbal shots at the lawyers for their incompetency. Their drawn out conversation grows more intense as they empty two bottles of wine. Jackie describes what was possibly a very abusive childhood, which surprises Michael, but, as he's leaving, he admits that his life too is a sham. He barely has enough energy to get out of bed, and spends all his evenings in front of the TV because it fills the void in his life. The slow descent into the hell of these peoples' hopeless lives is an agonizing one. They do not try to console each other, but merely go on living their different, shattered lives. Written and directed by Noonan, WHAT HAPPENED WAS reveals a small, deadly vision of the world. A flu shot offers more entertainment than this flat, ugly movie.

For all its morose material, WHAT HAPPENED WAS stays away from the usual excessive objectionable material. Offensive language crops up occasionally with a few obscenities and some exclamatory profanity. Jackie tells a gruesome "children's story" dealing with rape, incest and cannibalism in some detail. Though they share dark secrets, Michael and Jackie show no warmth or sexual attraction for each other besides one brief, passionless kissing scene. The underlying theme that the injured of the world are left to float around in a sea of despair without the hope of salvation, clearly contradicts the whole message of the Bible. Perhaps some people do find themselves in this situation, but, if so, this movie will not inspire them to change. WHAT HAPPENED WAS is a hopeless, helpless movie and certainly not one that you would want to take a date to.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Co., 10203 Santa Monica, CA 90067-6403

Crude Language: Few (2) times - Mild 1, Moderate 1
Obscene Language: Several (9) times (f-word 2, s-word 3, others 4)
Profanity: Several (6) times - Regular 3 (G, C), Exclamatory 3
Violence: None
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Few times (female near nudity once; brief, indistinct scene of topless dancers on TV)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times - references to intercourse, rape and incest
Drug Abuse: Constant drinking, both wine and liquor
Other: Situation depicted without hope of redemption or change.
Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)