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Happy Endings?
Promotional poster
Directed by Tara Hurley
Produced by It's Not Easy Productions
Music by Tim O'Keffe
James Reed
Cinematography Nick Marcoux
Tara Hurley
Editing by Nick Marcoux
Release date(s) Template:Start date
Running time 81 minutes
Country United States
Language English, Korean

Happy Endings? is a 2009 cinema verite documentary film directed and produced by Tara Hurley.[1] Filmed over 27 months, it chronicles the lives of the women in massage parlors in Rhode Island during a battle in the state legislature to make prostitution illegal. During the period of the filming, prostitution in Rhode Island was legal behind closed doors.[2]

The expression "happy ending" is a colloquial term for the practice of a massage therapist to offer sexual release to a client.


The film explores the Asian massage industry in Rhode Island. Relying heavily on guerilla filmmaking techniques,[3] Happy Endings? follows the life of one of the spa workers "Heather" while intertwining interviews with two other spa workers, the Providence Mayor David Cicilline, Providence's Police Vice department, Representative Joanne Giannini, Senator Rhoda Perry, staff of The Providence Phoenix, local residents, and "johns".[4]

Over the course of two years, the viewer sees the debate change from the creation of laws against prostitution to laws against prostitution and human trafficking. Although this link is never proven in the film, human trafficking is discussed at length.[5]

Through candid one-on-one interviews the film offers insight into the lives of the women at the center of the debate, the struggles of its subjects and the strength they maintain to survive.[6] Because the women in the massage parlors did not want their names revealed, the director renamed all of the sex workers after her roommates while studying as an undergraduate at Providence College.[7]

Underground film

Happy Endings? is considered an underground film,[3] in style, genre, and financing. The world premier was at the Anthology Film Archives in New York as part of the Cinekink film festival of 2009.[8] It was also shown in the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge MA, and AS220 in Providence.

Film participants


External links

  1. REDIRECT Template:Official website
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