Mark Illseley’s Happy, Texas by Lynn Geller

Part of the Editor's Choice series.

BOMB 69 Fall 1999
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Happy Texas

Steve Zahn in Happy, Texas. Photograph by Dina S. Khouri. Courtesy Miramax.

The aptly named Happy, Texas makes a case for rehabilitation when two escaped prisoners steal an RV and gain humanity by taking on the personae of a gay couple on their way to direct a “little miss” beauty pageant. Starring Jeremy Northam, a Baldwinesque charmer, and Steve Zahn, in one of the smartest dumb performances ever, with a great supporting cast including William H. Macy, Ally Walker, and Ileana Douglas, it’s easy to see why this comedy created a feeding frenzy at Sundance. Happy, Texas serves as a reminder that pure enjoyment can be a worthy goal for a movie and that high concept does not necessarily imply Disaster.

—Lynn Geller


Happy, Texas, directed by Mark Illseley, was recently released by Miramax Films.

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Originally published in

BOMB 69, Fall 1999

Featuring interviews with Errol Morris, Peggy Shaw, Laurie Anderson, Carlo Ginzburg, Raymond Pettibon, Judy Pfaff, Mellisa Marks, Edward Said, and Margaret Cezair-Thompson. 

Read the issue
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