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I dunno.. .but whenever I see her, I just wanna...you know, I wanna... undress her... I wanna tie her up. I wanna pump her. Pump, pump, pump, till she screams bloody murder. And then I wanna flip her ass over and pump her even more. And so hard that my dick shoots right through her. And that my... c-m squirts out her mouth.
~ Allen detailing his obsession for his neighbor, Helen to Bill Maplewood.
I'm gonna f--- you so hard, you'll be c---ing out of your ears. F--k you...
~ Allen as he prepares to look through his phonebook for women to sexually harass.
I know who you are and you are nothing. You think you are fu--ing something, but you are fu--ing nothing. You are empty. You are a zero. You are a black hole, and I'm gonna f--- you so bad you'll be c----ing out of your ears.
~ Allen sexually harrassing Helen on the phone.

Allen is a protagonist-villain of the 1998 black-comedy drama film Happiness, directed by Todd Solondz. He is a lonely sexual deviant who is obsessed with his attractive neighbor Helen. He also serves as a secondary antagonist in the sequel Life During Wartime.

He was portrayed by the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman - who also portrayed Owen Davian in Mission Impossible III and Dean Trumbell in Punch-Drunk Love - in Happiness, and by Michael K. Williams in Life During Wartime.



Allen is a lonely, sexually frustrated misfit who is so socially inept that he can only only connect with people by harassing them with obscene phone calls. He is obsessed with his attractive neighbor Helen Jordan, a rich, successful author who happens to be the sister in-law of Allen's psychiatrist, Bill Maplewood

Allen is first seen in a session with Maplewood, detailing his fantasies about Helen before lamenting that he will never fulfill them because he is too boring to attract women. Unbeknownst to Allen, Maplewood is indeed bored by him, going after his grocery list in his head instead of listening. (Allen is also unaware that Maplewood is a pedophile.)

Out of sheer desperation, Allen proceeds to call Helen and sexually harass her which interests her as she has grown tired of having sex with rich, handsome men who don't see her for who she is. But due to Allen's insults towards her on the phone, she becomes intrigued as no other men have said stuff like that to her. She tells him to come over to her place to have sex but upon finding out that her caller is indeed Allen, she rejects him. 

However, Allen realizes that a woman who truly cares for him, Kristina, has been right under his nose all along. However, she had recently killed the apartment doorman after he raped her. While Allen is still content with her friends after she confided this in him, it is revealed by Helen the genitals of the doorman were discovered by police less than six months later in Kristina's freezer.

Life During Wartime

Eleven years after the events of Happiness, It is revealed that Allen married Helen Jordan's sister Joy and still struggles with his perversion of sexually harrassing women on the phone. After Joy catches him doing so, she takes a break from him to visit her sister Trish, Bill Maplewood's ex-wife. However, while she is away, a depressed Allen commits suicide.

A vision of Allen, alongside a vision of Joy's ex-boyfriend Andy, who also committed suicide in Happiness, begins taunting her to commit suicide to toy around with her guilt for their suicides. However, she overcomes her demons and banishes both Allen and Andy's vision.


  • Jack Black was considered for the role of Allen prior to Hoffman's casting.
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman based Allen on Republican politician Ralph Reed, the founder of the Christian Coalition. 
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