7.0/10
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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.

Director:

Mike Leigh

Writer:

Mike Leigh
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 39 wins & 60 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sally Hawkins ... Poppy
Elliot Cowan ... Bookshop Assistant
Alexis Zegerman ... Zoe
Andrea Riseborough ... Dawn
Sinead Matthews ... Alice (as Sinéad Matthews)
Kate O'Flynn ... Suzy
Sarah Niles ... Tash
Eddie Marsan ... Scott
Joseph Kloska ... Suzy's Boyfriend
Sylvestra Le Touzel ... Heather
Anna Reynolds Anna Reynolds ... Receptionist
Nonso Anozie ... Ezra
Trevor Cooper ... Patient
Karina Fernandez ... Rosita Santos
Philip Arditti ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MK2 [France] | Momentum Pictures [UK] | See more »

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Happy Go Lucky See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£385,190 (United Kingdom), 20 April 2008, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$73,867, 12 October 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,494,485, 18 January 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

In the scene after Poppy has aborted her lessons for good with Scott, she walks past the same row of shops twice. 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

References Splinter Cell (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Poppy is the whole film and I found her disingenuous and irritating
18 August 2013 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When this film came out my girlfriend said she wanted to see it because she'd heard good things. After much time waiting for her to be in the mood for it, I eventually queued it up when by myself and I am glad I did as she would have truly hated this film. The plot (as light as it is) is about a 30-year-old woman who is as cheerful and perky as the day is long. She hangs out with her friends, she meets a guy, she learns how to drive and in all these things we see her infectious sense of happiness. There isn't much more to this and I do not thing I have seen a film that depends so totally on whether or not you like the main character.

I said she is infectious but then so are many diseases and to be honest I found Poppy to be as enjoyable. Her character is the type to speak to strangers, to constantly have a zany remark, to be the one making a spectacle of herself and so on. Of course her being the polar opposite of me didn't help, but I found nothing to make me question myself here and on the contrary I spent much of the film wondering if Polly isn't suffering from some sort of mental illness. The majority of the film sees Poppy in full-on zany mood, mostly in collaboration with others but occasionally contrasting her with a dull married couple and her driving instructor, who carries all of his anger with him all the time. When the film is letting Poppy just be herself I found it tiresome. As a character she says nothing real and everything is a little joke or witty episode. It is only the contrast where she comes out and I think there is really only one or two moments in the film where I felt a real person had come out of Poppy.

The cast are mixed and not in a goo way. Hawkins got lots of praise of this performance but I thought it was terrible. In one or two scenes she lets the façade drop so we see her at her most real. I loved these moments but the downside of them was that we then know the rest is a façade and not her really. Her acting involves cheeky mockney dialogue and little else. Marsan is much better. His rage and anger is convincing and his performance works well next to the moments when Hawkins is not OTT cheerful. The supporting cast is OK but really it is Hawkins' film and this is something to keep in mind.

Whether you like this film or not depends very much on liking Poppy. You may find her freewheeling color to be charmingly quirky but for me she used it as a barrier to any real discussion or humanity and she struck me as disingenuous throughout the film. The moments where she drops the wisecracks and zaniness and lets something like empathy or concern for others come through are great, but they are few and far between.


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