Happy-Go-Lucky

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 250 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 40 out of 250

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User Reviews

  1. ByeBye
    Oct 8, 2008
    3
    I'm sorry but Sally was, in fact, annoying to me. If the movie is her performance, the movie deserves to be failed.
  2. MalcolmM.
    Oct 10, 2008
    2
    The always sunny disposition of the main character Poppy soon gets annoying. I like positive people, but you can have too much of a good thing. Nothing very interesting happens to Poppy - this is just a few days in the life of an eternal optimist. Nice does not equal interesting.
  3. JillK.
    Nov 1, 2008
    2
    Cliche script that good acting could not save. We were bored after 5 minutes. Cannot understand the the critical raves.
  4. JamesL.
    Nov 10, 2008
    1
    I haven't been this bored at a film since "Lost Highway". All three of us wanted to leave but we left that up to half of the audience. I do not know what else to tell you. Do not waste your time!
  5. Herbert
    Feb 20, 2009
    0
    Quite possibly the worse movie ever made. Don't waste your time.
  6. EdgarM
    Mar 25, 2009
    3
    Sally Hawkins saves this film from a 1 - though her character is tendentious and patently desperate in the way she approaches people. Poppy is that awful person we all know who thinks she is just too too clever and should just shut up and ask her mum where she went wrong. And the contrived romance with the smarmy social worker is the last straw.
  7. FabioP.
    May 6, 2009
    2
    One of the most overrated movies i've ever seen. I've rented it after reading so many good reviews by the critics, and i was actually astonished by its emptiness. There basically isn't a story: the film is only made by a bunch of sequences (not always related between each other) where Poppy -quite possibly the most annoying carachter i've ever seen in a movie- just One of the most overrated movies i've ever seen. I've rented it after reading so many good reviews by the critics, and i was actually astonished by its emptiness. There basically isn't a story: the film is only made by a bunch of sequences (not always related between each other) where Poppy -quite possibly the most annoying carachter i've ever seen in a movie- just keeps on laughing at people with no reason, blabbling nonsense and telling stupid jokes. There's no laughs, no tears, NOTHING in this movie. I just prayed it could end as quickly as possible, and then i was left with the only desire of punching Poppy on her always-smiling face. Expand
  8. ElizaF.
    Apr 12, 2009
    2
    Passive aggression thy name is Poppy. Hate your driving instructor because he's grouchy and racist? Giggle and chatter through all his instructions and persist in wearing the boots he's begged you to leave off. Want to irritate the shop owner who's trying to concentrate on something? Keep right on talking to him, non-stop? Like to make your flat-mate uncomfortable? Look Passive aggression thy name is Poppy. Hate your driving instructor because he's grouchy and racist? Giggle and chatter through all his instructions and persist in wearing the boots he's begged you to leave off. Want to irritate the shop owner who's trying to concentrate on something? Keep right on talking to him, non-stop? Like to make your flat-mate uncomfortable? Look down her top and stroke her legs. Think your dance instructor is a bit over the top? Roll your eyes and make faces while she teaches Feel like testing the common sense to the absolute limits? Approach a mentally-ill homeless man in the midst of a psychotic episode and invade his space with your supremely annoying chatter and laugh at him. Do it all with a big self-satisfied grin and a wheezy breathless laugh at your own inane jokes and everyone will take your side and find you charming. Well, most people will. Expand
  9. Apr 10, 2011
    0
    Through a mis-click I accidentally gave Mike Leigh's 'Another Year' a zero score when it deserved perhaps a 3. This one, however deserves the zero I'm giving it. One reviewer asks whether it's possible to enjoy the company of the world's most irritating woman, yet somehow finds the room to say 'yes'. I can't imagine why. Not only are half her lines made up of jokes that aren't actuallyThrough a mis-click I accidentally gave Mike Leigh's 'Another Year' a zero score when it deserved perhaps a 3. This one, however deserves the zero I'm giving it. One reviewer asks whether it's possible to enjoy the company of the world's most irritating woman, yet somehow finds the room to say 'yes'. I can't imagine why. Not only are half her lines made up of jokes that aren't actually infused with anything approaching wit, but she punctuates EVERY SENTENCE with this inhaled half-giggle -- perhaps a gasp-laugh -- that made me eventually put the sound off. I would have to ask whether it's possible to enjoy a movie that also has absolutely no plot. The plot is an incidental background upon which 'real life' plays out in all its unedited glory. Why did Leigh leave us watching school teachers making paper masks for their next day's class for A-G-E-S? Did he take a comfort break with the camera still running, and then decide to just leave it in? There is sort-of a climax towards the end, but it is merely a rare hot-point in one of the story-threads that comes out of nowhere, rather than a moment of resolution. At two hours, this movie runs for at least 45 minutes too long.

    The main character is meant to appear happy, and perhaps she is what passes for it in Manchester. She seems rather to be a ditsy dullard who lollops around in a haze of tired slang detritus and blips of half-one-liners, blindly committed to not giving a care about what anyone else requires of her. She is endlessly bubbly, but (except for her three scenes of near-compassion on which this aimless movie seems to hinge) she achieves this veneer of cheerfulness by acting resolutely in her own interest, as though happiness is merely a matter of allowing nothing to faze you and allowing nothing to make demands of you.

    As with Another Year, Mike Leigh seems to be examining a theme about which he knows very little. The treatment of happiness and 'message' (which is too strong a word for any conclusions one might draw) are clumsy and poorly analysed. The director's commitment to filming 'Real Life TM' comes across as muddled, paceless, lazy film-making, and all of this might not have mattered too much if the characters were engaging. Making them annoying instead of charming was a directorial risk that is hard to justify, and it continues to mystify me that none of this seems to have mattered to the majority of critics.

    The director wants to show us real people doing real things, with messy unresolved real-life events, and not the neat, cliched Hollywood climax and denouement. I wonder why we should bother going to the cinema for that. A desperately abysmal film, among the worst I've ever seen.
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  10. [Anonymous]
    Oct 11, 2008
    2
    Left after 20 min. Nice premise, but either bad script or bad acting.
  11. SteveB.
    Oct 26, 2008
    2
    Left after 30 min., couldn't stand it. I couldn't help but see her from the driving instructor's point of view, jokey and unserious to the point of annoyance. Got a ticket refund :-) but wasted a Saturday night.
  12. Gabe
    Nov 1, 2008
    1
    It's been a while since I've wanted to walk out of a movie, but didn't want to break my girlfriend's heart. Major chick flick to the point of complete drivel, complete lack of a compelling plot line, any joke worth repaying with a laugh, replete with horrific flutey mood music and chatty Cathy nonsensical blather.
  13. DruU.
    Nov 2, 2008
    1
    The high critic scores should have been a give-away...stay away from this bomb. The critics nowadays only seem to like very negative, downer movies (such as Rachel Getting Married or The Dark Knight). Yes, those are well-acted movies but the word "happy" is nowhere in the title as it is here. Sally Hawkins gives an excellent performance (that's why I gave it one Star) but the The high critic scores should have been a give-away...stay away from this bomb. The critics nowadays only seem to like very negative, downer movies (such as Rachel Getting Married or The Dark Knight). Yes, those are well-acted movies but the word "happy" is nowhere in the title as it is here. Sally Hawkins gives an excellent performance (that's why I gave it one Star) but the randomness of the writing and the overly oppressive characters around her just drag this movie down. Once again, it comes down to the writing...a weak script cannot be saved by good acting. I did try to like this movie but after an hour and 35 minutes, I gave up. You can be beat me over the head only so long before I have to move on. Disney really blew it on this one. It could have been a real lesson movie if it had been more consistent or focused. Why, after having no fear of all the other challenges in her like, did Poppy suddenly seem so fearful under the bridge where she met the crazy guy talking to himself? So many wasted opportunities. It makes Bangkok Dangerous look like an Oscar contender. Save you $11 for something better. (This year, however, that may be difficult.) Expand
  14. MarianB
    Nov 3, 2008
    0
    I was severely disappointed by this film because the trailer seemed so promising. In fact I didn't think a film could actually cause me physical pain (a terrible headache) nor make me think vicious thoughts about the characters. This awful film did exactly that. The script was absolutely unconvincing in its optimistism or at its attempts at portraying realisitic London life (the I was severely disappointed by this film because the trailer seemed so promising. In fact I didn't think a film could actually cause me physical pain (a terrible headache) nor make me think vicious thoughts about the characters. This awful film did exactly that. The script was absolutely unconvincing in its optimistism or at its attempts at portraying realisitic London life (the cabbie for instance was to be pitied for his road rage because of Poppy). Unfortunately also it fulfilled tired stereotypes (white working class cabbie hates black boys, dabbles in conspiracy theories). A new angle would have been appreciated. The romance was forced (the social worker & Poppy exchanging numbers straight after just trying to get the audience to sympathise with an abused child.) Not professional or cute. The attempts to make the audience think that Poppy had some profound insight/kinship with the downtrodden (e.g. the homeless man) was pathetic because there was not a light of understanding between the two, just left with the mad ramblings of a cold and hungry man. The other characters lives (e.g. sister, flatmate, colleagues) were uninteresting and badly acted. The whole film seemed very black and white with everyone enraged with the world (not explained why) and Poppy 'happy' unconvingly. Irritating to the point of knased teeth. Avoid at all cost. I am sorry I rented it. Life affirming films have been done a whole lot better by some seriously good actors with thumpingly good scripts e.g. Audrey Hepburn etc. Indulge in those. Expand
  15. SteveS.
    Nov 9, 2008
    1
    I considered walking out after 15 minutes. My fiance asked "What's this movie about?" I still have no idea myself. "You know what I mean?" If you made it though an hour of this movie you "know what I mean". Pointelss. Plotless. Soulless. And if you're a fan of the acting you can see the same thing for free volunteering at any mental ward. That's no disregard to mental I considered walking out after 15 minutes. My fiance asked "What's this movie about?" I still have no idea myself. "You know what I mean?" If you made it though an hour of this movie you "know what I mean". Pointelss. Plotless. Soulless. And if you're a fan of the acting you can see the same thing for free volunteering at any mental ward. That's no disregard to mental patients, just the actors and people behing this movie. Happy Go Lucky? No, I was just Happy To Go. Expand
  16. PatrickM
    Nov 16, 2008
    1
    The Slate review does say it best, though only toward the end: nothing of consequence happens in this movie. The main character (characterized flatly by Hawkins' strained study in obnoxious and defensive optimism) changes nothing and is changed by nothing. The script provides plenty of opportunities for conflict and even, hey, direction, but still somehow eschews either. Garbage.
  17. DennisL.
    Nov 19, 2008
    1
    The main character Poppy is supposed to be compassionate--but how can we sympathize with a flighty, sarcastic, non-stop-talking 30 year-old giggler? The villains are bad like cartoon villains are bad. And that's cheap and too easy. I wonder about the people who find this movie profound. Poppy is smugly superior, and her treatment of the driving instructor is criminal. A terrible movie.
  18. MC
    Nov 21, 2008
    3
    As we were walking out of the theatre, another couple stopped us and asked what we thought of the film. We answered that we hadn't really enjoyed it, and they sighed relieved saying "After we read the reviews, we thought we were missing something because we really didn't enjoy it." At the end of the film, you felt like you hadn't gotten anything from it; none of the As we were walking out of the theatre, another couple stopped us and asked what we thought of the film. We answered that we hadn't really enjoyed it, and they sighed relieved saying "After we read the reviews, we thought we were missing something because we really didn't enjoy it." At the end of the film, you felt like you hadn't gotten anything from it; none of the characters had changed or learned, there was no narrative to be advanced, and you hadn't really learned much. It was like a two hour long Seinfeld episode where most of the humor was traded away for a small slice of artificial bubbliness. Expand
  19. JohnS.
    Nov 22, 2008
    3
    Had it been billed as a character study of a tragic heroine, I would have scheduled the movie for something besides a chance for comic relief. As it was, being force fed her torturous blytheness was far from relief.
  20. AdamC.
    Dec 1, 2008
    1
    Pointless exercise in futility. MC's user review sums it up nicely. Was I missing something? There's no progression of characters or plot in this film. Poppy makes whoopee. Who cares? Poppy's driving instructor gets peeved. Who cares? Professional reviewers are out of sync with public tastes on this one, and I usually at least understand why they rated a movie highly. Not Pointless exercise in futility. MC's user review sums it up nicely. Was I missing something? There's no progression of characters or plot in this film. Poppy makes whoopee. Who cares? Poppy's driving instructor gets peeved. Who cares? Professional reviewers are out of sync with public tastes on this one, and I usually at least understand why they rated a movie highly. Not so with this 2 hour snoozefest! Expand
  21. TerriL.
    Dec 2, 2008
    2
    Not the worst movie ever - but pretty boring and meandering. It never starts and it never ends.
  22. Happy-Go-LuckyStorm
    Dec 28, 2008
    2
    After seeing that this film received a rating of "universal acclaim," I expected it would be a buoyant tonic to the holidays. But no, it's a long, aggravating affair, with an inane and irritating main character and the equally irritating and vapid people who comprise her circle of friends, relatives, and professional (?) associates. Poppy dresses like a cheap hooker and has the depth After seeing that this film received a rating of "universal acclaim," I expected it would be a buoyant tonic to the holidays. But no, it's a long, aggravating affair, with an inane and irritating main character and the equally irritating and vapid people who comprise her circle of friends, relatives, and professional (?) associates. Poppy dresses like a cheap hooker and has the depth of a three year old. We are supposed to love her for her cockeyed optimism, but she comes across as an optimistic idiot who wanders into seriously dangerous neighborhoods for no apparent reason, bounces on a trampoline, lives in chaos, and has a double-digit IQ at best. Expand
  23. RossW
    Dec 30, 2008
    3
    This is an extremely bad movie, made seemingly worse by the misleading critical reception. Neither the favorable reviews nor the trailers share what you're really getting from this film: a showcase for a better-than-average David Brent (UK's The Office) impersonation from Sally Hawkins. We left halfway through and skimmed through the rest after downloading it at home. Just This is an extremely bad movie, made seemingly worse by the misleading critical reception. Neither the favorable reviews nor the trailers share what you're really getting from this film: a showcase for a better-than-average David Brent (UK's The Office) impersonation from Sally Hawkins. We left halfway through and skimmed through the rest after downloading it at home. Just terrible. Make sure your evening has a backup plan if you leave the house to see this one. Expand
  24. FrankC
    Jan 3, 2009
    1
    Affectation is not acting. The film is one long reaction shot focused on Poppy, and Hawkins's attempt at portraying happiness falls flat; her breathy, fake laughs grate and her voice prickles. Huge disappointment.
  25. zizek'ssuccesor
    Jan 19, 2009
    2
    This movie is ideology at its purest ... critical thinking is mocked embodied by scott and this distance (not engaging with the world) that poppy portrays is symbolic of western buddhism. Hence she can participate in the oppressive matrix of virtual capitalism and keep her hands clean.
  26. SamS.
    Jan 26, 2009
    2
    Utterly grating.
  27. HugoS.
    Jan 26, 2009
    2
    Terrible script, no direction, no form, stereotype characters, annoying lead character, pretentious and extremely boring. The 2 points are for the cab driver - great actor. Do not watch.
  28. JanC
    Mar 24, 2009
    0
    I agree with Hugo: "Terrible script, ... stereotype characters, annoying lead character, pretentious and extremely boring. The 2 points are for the driver - great actor. Do not watch." Let me add it's pretentious in the lead character being "politically correct" and the driving teaching being politically incorrect & psycho to prove the point. This is such an annoying movie - I I agree with Hugo: "Terrible script, ... stereotype characters, annoying lead character, pretentious and extremely boring. The 2 points are for the driver - great actor. Do not watch." Let me add it's pretentious in the lead character being "politically correct" and the driving teaching being politically incorrect & psycho to prove the point. This is such an annoying movie - I can't believe they got the money to make something so flimsy and a waste of time. Expand
  29. ShaneC
    Jul 4, 2009
    1
    Learned next to nothing about main character (Polly) over the course of the entire film. After an hour felt more irritated by her than interested or engaged. Scott (psychotic driving instructor) was much more interesting but too little of the plot.
Metascore
84

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. As surprising as it is delicious with an indelible performance by new star Sally Hawkins.
  2. Reviewed by: Alissa Simon
    70
    Mike Leigh's mellowest work yet, and his most purely entertaining.
  3. 70
    The movie is not an argument for chaos; it's an argument for making one's way through life with a relaxed will and an open heart.