''It's not easy being an adult''
''It's not easy being you, is it?''
Set in contemporary London and follows the adventures of Poppy, a primary school teacher.
Sally Hawkins: Poppy
Happy-Go-Lucky wasn't anything at all what I expected. The beginning of the film I was worried if Mike Leigh's offering may not live up to my expectations, but by the end it exceeded them with the amount of relevant serious points yet simplicity within it's confines.
Poppy played by Sally Hawkins is seriously optimistic and at times completely annoying. Very eccentric behaviour and mannerisms. She ends up being likable and means well, generous and considerate to others.
Hawkins' character is not someone who is inclined to let life get her down, so it's just as well that she is surrounded by people with a somewhat more sardonic or downbeat take on reality.
Her flatmate Zoe played by Alexis Zegerman is a wonderfully dry and sardonic counter to Poppy's vitality, although the affection between them is palpable.
Poppy's younger sisters Suzy and Helen are also quite different.
Suzy turns out to be a law student who is more interested in clubbing, drinking and playing with her brother-in-law's PS2 than criminal justice, while Helen is heavily pregnant, obsessed with acquiring the glories of a respectable suburban life and unable to maintain the notion of how her older sister can be so happy living in a rented flat and not stepping onto the property ladder albeit a Mortgage and coining a pension.
The big surprise for me is that I had been led to believe that this is a more or less straightforward feel-good comedy. That isn't true.
Scott, Poppy's driving teacher played by Eddie Marsan is one of the most faceted and troubled characters.
Marsan's performance is one of the best things going in Happy-Go-Lucky. Scott has been afflicted with very bad teeth and although his inner anger and meanderings is applied for laughs in alot of the film, in the end it is allowed to result in an exploding unleashed scene where his angry delusions and troubles he has bottled up inside suddenly all come gushing out in an array of emotion, a tornado that has been set free.
What Happy-Go-Lucky offers us is an insight into someones life, in this instance Poppy's and capitalizes on it truthfully.
Be it a Dance class with passion and unexpected drama or an encounter with a homeless man which shows Poppy's braveness, or even the beginning of a relationship for her with a young Social Worker she meets at her work because of a troubled young boy in her Class. All of these things show a fraction of what Happy-Go-Lucky is, and that being said it ends up being not just a comedy, not just a feel good movie but an in-depth Study of a loving albeit eccentric woman and a journey of life with all it's many highs and lows.
Original, different and maintains something lacking from alot of films today. A story of young vibrant woman's life, Happy-Go-Lucky is worth watching.