Sally Hawkins, Eddie Marsan, Alexis Zegerman. Comedy. Written & directed by Mike Leigh (Vera Drake, Topsy Turvy).
FILM SYNOPSIS: Poppy, an irrepressibly free-spirited school teacher living in London, brings an infectious laugh and an unsinkable sense of optimism to every situation she encounters. More like vignettes in the life of a colorful person than an actual story in three acts, Happy-Go-Lucky reminds us to look at the half-full glass rather than the half-empty one.
PREVIEW REVIEW: Poppy has a great gift for enjoying the ups of life, while not taking the downs too seriously. She truly knows not to sweat the small stuff cause its all small stuff. Her bike is stolen; shes frustrated only by the fact that she didnt get to say goodbye to it. Shes amused by her driving instructors uptightness, continuing with the classes in hope of calming his troubled heart. And her sisters bitterness is rebuffed with a supportive grin. Shes the type who whistles a happy tune and tries to bring a little sunshine to friend and foe. Shes the Elwood P. Dowd of So-Ho, sans the six-foot rabbit.
Poppy enjoys outings with her pals and evenings clubbing, and a tumble on a trampoline seems to be a weekly custom. But there is also a depth to Poppy. Shes not just a bohemian peace child. She endeavors to bring resolve and bestow a smile to those most others would ignor. A boy bullying others signals to Poppy that he has a troubled home life. She seeks a remedy. A homeless man speaking gibberish is accepted with respect. Though its an uncomfortable and possibly dangerous situation, she reaches out to him, offering money for a meal and questioning where hell sleep that night.
The film incorporates a bit too much alcohol, bawdy and suggestive humor, and sex on a first date intimacy to represent a persons ability to enjoy life, but her acceptance of others and tendency to keep trials and tribulations in perspective is a good reminder that one of our responsibilities during lifes sojourn is to enjoy the ride.
Strong on character study, weak on story, at moments profound, sometimes disconnected by its anecdotal format, overall, Happy-Go-Lucky uplifts, entertains and teaches.
Please read the reasons for the rating before deciding to attend. If you find the content objectionable, allow me to suggest a couple of DVD alternatives, each featuring characters who have come to terms with life.
The Straight Story. Filmed along the 260-mile route that the actual Alvin Straight (Richard Farnsworth) traversed in 1994 from Laurens, Iowa to Mt. Zion, Wisconsin, The Straight Story chronicles Alvins patient odyssey and those he meets along the way. Alvin encounters a number of strangers, from a teenage runaway to a fellow WWII veteran. By sharing his lifes earned wisdom with simple stories, Alvin has a profound impact on these people. It contains lessons about the importance of family and forgiveness. Rated G.
You Cant Take It With You. Frank Capras charming award-winner about an eccentric but loving family.
Harvey. James Stewart, Josephine Hull (Best Actress Oscar), Cecil Kellaway, Jesse White. Comedy. A gentle soul by the name of Elwood P. Dowd likes everybodyincluding his invisible six-foot rabbit, Harvey. Very funny and very touching.