By Mike D'Angelo
Updated April 30, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Last year’s most overrated film is a misanthropic festival of sexual neuroses that feels more like a petty act of revenge than an honest attempt to explore societal dysfunction. Todd Solondz (Welcome to the Dollhouse) coaxes superb performances from his large cast in Happiness (Baker, as a tormented pedophile, is especially fine), but hasn’t the generosity of spirit to give his misbegotten characters breathing room; his schematic narrative pins each one to the wall, where they wriggle miserably for our ostensible enjoyment. The guy can’t even bear to give the sweaty losers played by Hoffman and Camryn Manheim a brief moment of pleasure without undercutting it with a cheesy Air Supply tune. C+