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Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

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A look at a few chapters in the life of Poppy, a cheery, colorful, North London schoolteacher whose optimism tends to exasperate those around her.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 38 wins & 54 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bookshop Assistant
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Zoe
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Dawn
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Alice (as Sinéad Matthews)
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Suzy
Sarah Niles ...
Tash
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Suzy's Boyfriend
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Anna Reynolds ...
Receptionist
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Patient
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Flamenco Student
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Storyline

Poppy Cross is happy-go-lucky. At 30, she lives in Camden: cheeky, playful, frank while funny, and talkative to strangers. She's a conscientious and exuberant primary-school teacher, flatmates with Zoe, her long-time friend; she's close to one sister, and not so close to another. In this slice of life story, we watch her take driving lessons from Scott, a dour and tightly-wound instructor, take classes in flamenco dance from a fiery Spaniard, encounter a tramp in the night, and sort out a student's aggressive behavior with a social worker's help. Along the way, we wonder if her open attitude puts her at risk of misunderstanding or worse. What is the root of happiness? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The one movie this fall that will put a smile on your face.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Happy-go-lucky  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£385,190 (UK) (18 April 2008)

Gross:

$3,494,485 (USA) (16 January 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sally Hawkins' third film with director Mike Leigh. See more »

Goofs

At one point Scott admonishes Poppy and asks her how old she is. Poppy replies she is 30. Scott would have known Poppy's age as he inspected her provisional driving license at the beginning of their first driving lesson. Towards the end of the film Poppy's age comes up again when Scott guesses that she is 22 when, as previously explained, he would have been fully aware of her age. The latter incident could have been deliberate flattery on the part of Scott. See more »

Quotes

Title Card: [first lines]
Poppy: [pulls out book from shelf] The Road to Reality...
[smiles and pushes the book back]
Poppy: Don't wanna be going there!
[laughs]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Happy-Go-Lucky: B-Roll (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Breakfast
Performed by Bent
Written by Simon Mills (as Mills) and Nail Tolliday (as Tolliday)
Published by Warner Chappell Music Publishing Ltd
Licensed Courtesy of Godlike & Electric Records Ltd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Maybe the world is too much for even the most dedicated optimist?
23 April 2008 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

Some UK critics have been saying that "Happy-Go-Lucky" is the happiest and most cheerful movie that Mike Leigh has ever made. Well, I don't know if I would exactly agree with that. It is and it isn't.

Sally Hawkins' primary school teacher Poppy is, indeed, a very happy individual. Annoyingly happy, insanely cheerful, depressingly optimistic and psychotically 'Up!', most of the time. It is a tribute to Sally Hawkins performance that, once you get past the initial irritation with her, you completely fall in love with Poppy, her goodness, her openness and, yes, her simple niceness.

Then there is Eddie Marsan's driving instructor Scott. Scott is the very antithesis of happy. Scott is rigid, angry, frustrated, impatient, knotted up and racist. A borderline OCD sufferer, who is tortured by who-knows-what in his past. Scott is the most bitter and overwhelming character in a Mike Leigh film since David Thewlis' Johnny in "Naked". It is a towering performance by Eddie Marsan.

If Poppy is the light, Scott is definitely the dark, but it seemed to me that dark shadows inhabit the whole of "Happy-Go-Lucky". The unhappy schoolboy, the glum Sister, the other sister - a social climber who dominates her husband. Little vignettes of irritation and annoyance. Typical Mike Leigh.

"Happy-Go-Lucky" is a really good film, if you stick with it. I liked the way that Poppy does stop smiling towards the end. Maybe the world is too much for even the most dedicated optimist?


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