We’ve all had those people in our lives that seem to be unnaturally happy. For those of us who aren’t like that, it can be very hard to take sometimes. Happy Go Lucky is about one of those people. Poppy is played by Sally Hawkins who won a Golden Globe for the role and got loads of other nominations and awards. The screenplay got a 2009 Oscar nomination for writer/director Mike Leigh, too. And somehow it went under my radar, so I had to rent it.
At the beginning, I was sure I would not get through it. I mean, can anyone really be nice and happy all the time? Poppy is a 30-year-old teacher who lives with a friend in London and seems to float through life. She laughs all the time and doesn’t take anything very seriously. And she calls serious people on their attitude. But little by little you see that she isn’t only this happy person. She is empathic and caring and real.
The plot of Happy Go Lucky is not exactly a linear story. Poppy loses her bike at the beginning of the movie and decides to learn to drive. Her driving lessons with an extremely unhappy man are woven through the film. Actually saying what the story is is not very easy. Nothing really happens. Poppy just lives her happy go lucky life. And you watch. She goes to the chiropractor. She bounces on a trampoline for exercise. She takes a flamenco lesson. She deals with a bully in her school class and finds a boyfriend. And as much as I thought I’d go crazy watching this happy nut, it is sweet and satisfying.
There is a wonderful scene with her married, pregnant sister, where the sister tries to make Poppy feel bad for being older, single, childless and without a mortgage. But Poppy cannot admit to feeling that way much to the sister’s annoyance. God I wish I could be like her.
This is a real chick flick is there ever was one.