The rest of the cast—from her close friends to a potential paramour—deftly support Hawkins’ central character, and Karina Fernandez’s earnestly passionate Flamenco dance instructor is an inspired highlight (giving the term “My Space” a hilarious new meaning).  Most compelling is Eddie Marsan as the driving instructor; he achieves the impossible by bringing humanity to a character who becomes increasingly unhinged.  That we care for Scott even as he grows more antagonistic toward Poppy is a testament to Marsan’s skill and deep vulnerability.

Happy-Go-Lucky does not begin with a particular inciting moment nor is there one of closure at the end.  The film enters and exits Poppy’s life in the same way: randomly.  Nevertheless it is a complete film because we’ve seen a complete portrait of this wonderful spirit—one that is endearing, moves us, and that we’d do well to emulate more often than we probably do.  Watching this slice-of-life encourages us to remain undaunted in the face of strife (talk about a timely message!), yet care enough to know that for many it’s a struggle to come to that level of peace.  It is a spirit best defined when someone offers Poppy this bit of realism: “You can’t make everyone happy.”  Poppy’s innocent, sincere reply:  “There’s no harm in trying, is there?”

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Drinking occurs occasionally, and drunkenness follows (in the context of laughing, fun, having a good time, etc.).
  • Language/Profanity:  Profanities (including the “F” word) are heard throughout, but not relentlessly so.  Occasional suggestive innuendos. 
  • Sex/Nudity:  A group of girlfriends talk and joke about cleavage while drunk.  Poppy uses fish fillets to stuff her bra.  When Poppy visits her osteopath, she is in her undergarments during the examination (but no actual nudity is shown).  Poppy and her boyfriend kiss passionately and begin disrobing, but the scene is cut short before going where those moments are clearly headed.
  • Violence/Other:  A moment late in the film comes close to physical violence against Poppy, but it remains largely an extreme verbal tirade.  Still, it maintains a legitimately threatening tone.

 

Jeffrey Huston is a film director, writer and producer at Steelehouse Productions in Tulsa, Okla.  He is also cohost of the "Steelehouse Podcast,” along with Steelehouse Executive Creative Mark Steele, where each week they discuss God in pop culture. 

To listen to the weekly podcast, please visit www.steelehouse.com or click here.  You can also subscribe to the "Steelehouse Podcast” through iTunes.