Film Review: Happy-Go-Lucky
Do you know anyone that's just so cheery and bouncy all the time that you just want to smack them in the face? Someone that seems so unfathomably glad to be alive that you could swear that they molest puppies at night? Well, meet Poppy. She's the embodiment of that person. Nothing gets her down and, amazingly, she never does have that "down time" that you'd expect form someone like this. She's "on" all the time. And wouldn't you know it? I wanted to slap her sad. It's been said elsewhere that the possible purpose for, or at least unintended result of Happy-Go-Lucky is that of a barometer for the audience. Are you an optimist or pessimist? A sunshine person that sees something of themselves in Poppy, or an angry, paranoid driving instructor, like the one excellently played by Eddie Marsan. Odds are, you're somewhere in the middle, as you likely don't identify with either end of the personality spectrum; instead, perhaps you see more of yourself in Poppy's roommate or sister. Unfortunately, which character I related to the most wasn't on the forefront of my mind as I watched Happy. Instead, I was wondering when the story would start. While it may serve as a terrific character study, the film almost literally goes nowhere, instead lackadaisically opting to show the audience unrelated and/or unimportant events in Poppy's life, tied together by nothing more than editing. Will Poppy turn Scott the driving instructor's black heart into gold, watching it grow three sizes that day? Will Poppy's mood be dampened by her other younger sister, married (with children on the way) and pushing for Poppy's life to mirror her own? Will Poppy ever find true love? Outside of the dynamic, somewhat-intense relationship between her and Scott, I didn't care. And once that subplot played out to its conclusion, the rest of the film played out like air being let out of a balloon. Pfffftt.
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