Dean Gets ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’

This character study film has almost no story and little character development outside the main character, but for some reason I enjoyed every minute of it. I almost wish “slice of life” movies had a warning so I could skip scanning for plot points and developments, but that may be my fault for not doing any preparation. If I had known I may have loved Happy-Go-Lucky instead of just being entertained by it. Hopefully, you all learn from my mistake and enjoy the wild ride.



The film centers on the masterful Sally Hawkins who plays “Poppy”, a wildly enthusiastic school teacher who resists maturing beyond what is necessary to work and live. Her unfailing optimism and silly wit may serve as a character study for those who watch the film. I think equal parts of the audience will find her either overbearing or delightful and the camp you fall in may say something about you. The character was wholly original, yet I can envision a few people I know that are similar enough to make me wonder why I haven’t seen such a performance before. The movie simply creates a variety of situations where you expect to see Poppy begin to crack and the appeal of the film is watching her progression through life’s challenges and wondering whether or not a situation will effect her indomitable spirit.



Sally Hawkins fully deserved the Golden Globe nomination and she equally deserves your time. I would recommend renting the film to absorb the acting genius, but I don’t foresee the movie having a lot of replay value for most viewers, so you can wait before purchasing. The features explore Sally Hawkins’ interpretation of and Writer/Director Mike Leigh’s inspiration for the character further and are worth a visit when you get your hands on a copy.



Special Features
Behind the Wheel of Happy-Go-Lucky
Audio Commentary by Director Mike Leigh (Vera Drake)





About Dean McCarthy

Dean McCarthy is a registered film fanatic with a near druglike addiction to DVD collecting. He has been writing in various forms for many years but most of his published works can be found here on Pop Culture Zoo. He is also the co-host of the podcast found at He is delighted you even bothered reading his article and can be easily reached HERE for any questions, queries, or quarrels.