Happy, Texas (The Movie)
Happy, Texas is a 1999 American comedy film directed by Mark Illsley and starring Steve Zahn, Jeremy Northam and William H. Macy. It was a positively reviewed film, and was a box office hit, grossing $3.7 million against a $1.4 million budget, and is now considered a cult classic.
Three prisoners escape from a chain gang, and two of them, Wayne and Harry (Zahn and Northam) run away to Happy, Texas, where they pose as the gay organizers of a beauty pageant. They put on a show with the small girls of the town while hiding from the law and waiting for the opportunity to rob the local bank.
Their scheme is complicated by the fact that the local sheriff (Macy) is gay, and he is attracted to the prisoner Harry. Straight Harry, on the other hand, is attracted to local lady banker Josephine (Walker). Meanwhile, "gay" David, also actually straight, gets it on with the local pageant coordinator, Doreen (Douglas).
Steve Zahn as Wayne Wayne Wayne Jr.
Jeremy Northam as Harry Sawyer
William H. Macy as Sheriff Chappy
The film received a rating of 81% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 52 critics, stating "Happy, Texas is a simple, funny romantic comedy that benefits from a very talented cast and a good soundtrack." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it 3/4.
Steve Zahn won three awards for his performance in the film.
Zahn's performance was hugely praised by critics, and although he had appeared in several hit Hollywood films, Happy, Texas was cited as his breakout film.
The soundtrack album for Happy, Texas features a mix of mostly country music by such artists as Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Lee Roy Parnell, Pam Tillis, Brad Paisley and BR5-49. There are also bits of Tejano (Flaco Jimenez) and exotica (Yma Sumac).
Track Listing (no Delbert McClinton!)
"Good at Secrets" (Kim Richey) – 4:20
"This Little Light of Mine"/"Fort Davis Contestant" (Carly Fink) – 0:17
"Ordinary Heart" (Emmylou Harris) – 2:58
"Baila Este Ritmo" (Flaco Jiménez) – 3:17
"After a Kiss" (Pam Tillis) – 4:10
"Stay" (Alison Krauss) – 3:26
"Half a Man" (Shannon Brown) – 2:35
"Gopher Mambo" (Yma Sumac) – 2:17
"Honky Tonk Song" (BR5-49) – 2:38
"That Buckin' Song (Saddle Sore Mix)
" (Robert Earl Keen) – 3:51
"Hurdy Gurdy Monkey Shine
" (Road Kings) – 2:17
"Happiness" (Abra Moore) – 4:28
"It's Oh So Quiet" (Happy Girls) – 1:29