Long ago, I was watching old episodes of Dark Shadows and noticed that the whole thing was made up of conversations between two people at a time. Once in a while there would be a small group talking or a third person would step into the room momentarily. I assumed it was just easier to work this way, easier for the writers to crank out 120 pages of script a week and to make production simpler. It was essentially a live show, live on tape.
Sitting here now watching Todd Solondz' Life During Wartime. Interesting movie. Almost every scene is a conversation between two people. It works pretty well.
It took me a little while to figure out that it was a sequel to Happiness. It had an entirely different cast and the kid from the first movie was now in college. The father has just gotten out of prison----pretty short sentence considering.
The women in the family have no luck with men. One was married to a homosexual pedophile rapist, the other is with a reformed criminal who hasn't entirely stopped one particular offense. Their father recently left their elderly mother.
Characters whose lives would be pretty good if they'd just cheer up.