Happy-Go-Lucky

Happy-Go-Lucky is a new movie from the UK that has recently been released here in the US. The film has won prizes at a slew of international film festivals including New York, Toronto, Telluride, and Sydney. The film stars Sally Hawkins, an actress I last watched in a PBS version of Jane Austen’s “Persuasion.” Happy-Go-Lucky is an enjoyable film about a young woman in London who encounters all kinds of negative situations with the ability to shrug off the bad and enjoy the good. One of the best scenes is the very first when she skips jollily into a bookstore to look around and the only other person in there is the non-responsive shop clerk. Poppy, the young woman, carries on a nice conversation with herself as she looks around, then leaves only to find her bicycle stolen. What made me laugh was that she talks to herself saying that “she didn’t even get to say good-bye”–to her bike. She shrugs and then merrily walks home. Now is a good time to go see someone with a positive, Pollyanna-like attitude, just to remind us that what is important is how we react to adversity.

In the film, Poppy meets lots of difficulties besides her bike being stolen: she takes driving lessons from a horrible man who has a great big chip on his shoulder, hurts her back practicing on a trampoline, deals with one of her primary school students bullying, meets a bum who is mentally ill, and is berated by her sister for not living the life her sister thinks she should lead. But Poppy does learn to drive better, gets her back fixed by a chiropractor, takes flamenco lessons, gets to the bottom of the bullying problem, and meets a great guy in the process. By the end of the movie Poppy and the driving instructor never resolve their differences, but that is life and it doesn’t deter her from still moving forward.

So in this time of election and other woes, an unstable Wall Street, and war, a movie like this is wonderful.