Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  21 November 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 31,142 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 196 user | 217 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

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 & 51 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bookshop Assistant
Alice (as Sinéad Matthews)
Sarah Niles ...
Suzy's Boyfriend
Anna Reynolds ...
Trevor Cooper ...
Flamenco Student


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


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


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Happy-go-lucky  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£385,190 (UK) (18 April 2008)


$3,494,485 (USA) (16 January 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Poppy (Sally Hawkins) visits the book store, at the beginning of the film, one can see the book "Room on the Broom" by Julia Donaldson on display. Hawkins later voiced one of the main characters of the story, in a short film adaptation of the book. See more »


In the build up to the final (aborted) driving lesson Scott (Eddie Marsan) is seen turning right into Holloway road (half way up and heading north), then moments later they are seen navigating the Highbury and Islington roundabout, turning into again into Holloway road about half a mile south of the previous location. See more »


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!
See more »


References Splinter Cell (2002) See more »


Common People
Performed by Pulp
Written by Jarvis Cocker (as Cocker) / Nick Banks (as Banks) / Candida Doyle (as Doyle) / Steve Mackey (as Mackey) / Russell Senior (as Senior)
Published by Universal/Island Music Ltd
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Ltd
Under licence from Universal Music Operations
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Another Excellent Mike Leigh Vignette
14 April 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

In this latest movie from Mike Leigh we are introduced to the very sweet Poppy. Poppy is a teacher, a good laugh, a bit of a loon and a really annoying person all rolled into one but try as you might you won't hold that against her. She is an unexpectedly cute cross between Michaela Strachan and Frank Spencer. Thankfully, there's no beret but there are plenty of knockabout gags which, when coupled with Poppy's infectious giggling and quick asides, had the audience laughing along quite genuinely. Characters come and go throughout the movie with an especially good performance from Stanley Townsend, but it's Eddie Marsan who gives the stand out performance in the movie with his darkly obsessive narratives and non sequiturs which expose his sinister persona. The rest of the cast are also splendid, they all fit in just right to make this a very watchable and enjoyable movie. Even the two dimensional characters have good aspects for which they are easily forgiven. I wouldn't hesitate in recommending people to this movie, my only complaint being that it was over too soon. I could have watched how the characters developed for another day or two and I guess that's down to the fascination with the ordinary which Mike Leigh builds into his films.

65 of 116 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Extremely difficult to watch grynai
What was the point in the scene with the tramp? crashbee
Poppy is a Metaphor for America negritude
Scott's statement 'You just want to be adored': true? NumeroOne
People are jelous of Poppy because they have no balls! jlnewton147
I don't want to be like Scott faluvegi-1
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