Review: HAPPY-GO-LUCKY

Posted on 17 October 2008 by Rich Drees

Director Mike Leigh’s films have almost always been more about the characters and the plot and Happy-Go-Lucky is no exception. More character sketch than anything else, Happy-Go-Lucky paints the portrait of Poppy, a middle class British woman who seemingly has not a care in the world.

The film follows not so much of a plot but a series of incidents as we follow Poppy (Sally Hawkins) from flamenco dancing lessons to work to visiting her pregnant sister to taking driving lessons from an instructor who could use some anger management classes (Eddie Marsen, in a performance that almost rivals Hawkins here). Although she does begin to date and has to deal with some mixed signals received by her driving instructor, these two story threads develop naturally, without the usual visible framework of typical Hollywood screenplay three act structure.

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