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Nov 23, 2008

Fletch's 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.

Fletch's Film Rating:


A final note:

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: Eddie Marsan for Best Supporting Actor. The odd-looking, future FF-UN Marsan (V for Vendetta, Hancock) is truly captivating as a sad, bitter man who is so cold that one of those outdoor heaters wouldn't even stand a chance at melting him. He disappears into the role of Poppy's driving instructor and nemesis, with a final standoff that acts as one of the best displays of acting you'll see this year.

10 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: Happy-Go-Lucky"

Rama said...

Hi, there,
good review of HAPPY GO LUCKY

one of my favorite movies of the year and I hope Eddie Marsan gets Best Supporting nomination

My name is Rama
I too have a movie blog called
Rama's SCREEN at www.ramasscreen.com

Check it out

How can we collaborate??


Fletch said...

Hi Rama - Thanks!

As for collaboration - easy! Join the LAMB.

Jason Bellamy said...

Wow! Your lead mirrors my exact thought about that character and this film -- the smacking part, not the puppies. I'll be exploring this topic on my blog tomorrow.

Farzan said...

Good review their Fletch.

Dead Pan said...

This was my worry for the film, I am still very interested in checking it out a formulating my own opinion, but it was the reason I have yet to get out there and see it.

Daniel Getahun said...

It's true - the story doesn't really go from point A to point B.

But I still like I somehow related to EVERYONE in some way, and that was what I took home from it.

Marsden's solid as a rock.

Fletch said...

Sometime after our first conversation on this, Daniel, I saw and realized that we were spelling his name wrong all along. It's Marsan. D'oh!

The film's certainly not without merit, but I just couldn't justify how loosey goosey it was with such important elements.

Daniel Getahun said...

WOW, thanks for that catch. Was I thinking of James Marsden, and why would I be?

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