Written October 22, 2008
[Per an advance preview:] This Mike Leigh film has English actress SALLY HAWKINS starring as Poppy, a schoolteacher who's so super-cheerful about life, you might wonder if her near-continual “perkiness” is a put-on or an inherent “defect” of some kind. Her friends and family tend to be “quirky”, but they are clearly general “ENABLERS” of her happy-go-lucky attitude. She finds her carefree demeanor a bit rained-upon by an angry driving instructor named Scott (well-played by EDDIE MARSAN), but still tries to go forward with her outgoing life by taking Flamenco dance lessons (from funny KARINA FERNANDEZ), dating a bit, and trying to help and encourage others around her. Hawkins does a fine job, but, while the film is exceptionally “pleasant”, I didn’t find it all that funny. The characters are often unique, and it's their intriguing interplay that leads me to recommend this film for for those who want to get away from today’s everyday life of distressing “downers” surrounding us.
Written October 10, 2008
Wonderful acting, especially by Sally Hawkins. On one level it is a story about a quirky, happy-go-lucky woman who seems to be laughing through life. But on another level you see her taking the things that matter in life - her job, her relationships, very seriously. Leave it to Mike Leigh to teach a lesson painlessly and with style.
Written October 27, 2008
...overwhelmingly summed up the high-caliber of film-making, thematic exploration/analysis, and first-rate performances by talented thespians in Happy-Go-Lucky/HGL - a charming profound British comedy by talented and dedicated director Mike Leigh.
HGL revolves around Poppy (a 30-yo primary schoolteacher with a intrinsic GENUINELY sunny cheerful optimistic compassionate good personality) and her interactions with other characters - juxtaposed in situations that challenged her optimistic disposition while providing us with a deeper insight into human behavior and conditions. In the face of adversities, her resilience proved remarkable - revealed that her character as also both thoughtful and complex.
Sally Hawkins (Poppy) ought to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar.
Ultimately, HGL is a study, exploration, and analysis of the elusive human condition - HAPPINESS.
For the discerning cultivated movie-goer, a MUST-SEE.
GRADE: Solid A
Written January 18, 2009
This was a delightful movie if you're looking for a chick flick or a date movie. The 2 hours went by pretty quickly. No explosions, no terrorist plots, just a slice of life movie. It revolves around a 30-year old school teacher in London who can find happiness in just every aspect of her life, or least doesn't despair for long when things go awry. You will leave with a smile on your face and stuff to talk about afterwards (just what was the point of the homeless man?). Warning - if you're naturally dour and look for the negative in everything, this movie will frustrate you and might make you want to tear your hair out.
Written November 19, 2008
Don't waste your time. I am English and get the humour but the best part was the last 10 min. What a snooze.