What You Need To Know:
(H, LL, N, A, D, M) Humanism; 10 obscenities; 2 scenes of woman changing clothes; several instances of social drinking; passing reference to drug use; and, 1 scene involving the reading of a morbid tale about cannibalism, incest & child abuse.
What happens when two lonely souls muster the courage to go out on a date is the essence of WHAT HAPPENED WAS …; an often funny, often poignant, but eventually disappointing comedy/drama from New York playwright Tom Noonan. Michael is an aging, lonely paralegal wasting away in a Manhattan law firm. Jackie is an aging, lonely executive assistant wasting away at the same firm. The movie takes place entirely in Jackie’s apartment where she and Michael meet for an evening of romance and unexpected revelations.
Owing as much to its roots in improvisational theater as to its modest budget, WHAT HAPPENED WAS … relies heavily on staging, acting, and dialogue to tell its tale of modern day isolation. For all its careful attention to detail, however, Noonan fails to bring WHAT HAPPENED WAS … to a satisfying, coherent close. The film goes from broad comedy to drama suddenly and without looking back, almost as if it were two separate films. Although the film is mercifully devoid of much that is questionable in terms of sex, violence and prescient worldview, the discerning viewer should beware of a lengthy scene where a disturbing short story is read which includes passages of cannibalism, incest and child abuse. Some viewers may find it all too much to take, and understandably so.