Sally's Permanently Positive Poppy
Poppy (Sally Hawkins) meanders through life always looking for the upside in things, being nice to strangers, going for drinks with her friends and teaching young children with as much innocence and enthusiasm as any child. When her bike is stolen the most annoying this is she didn't get to say goodbye to it but at least she can learn to drive. But between learning to drive, trampolining, flamenco lessons she also tries to help others including a student with anger issues.
Sally Hawkins is a lovely actress but as Poppy I struggled to spend more than 5 minutes in her company, she has no volume control when it comes to her positivity and cheerfulness. Then again every single character in "Happy-Go-Lucky" is in need of a dial to turn them down because every single character is over the top and goes beyond amusing in to the realms of annoying. But I guess I am in the minority as so many people seem to love "Happy-Go-Lucky" because of the cheerfulness of Poppy.
The thing is that because the character of Poppy and those in her life are so over the top and annoying that watching "Happy-Go-Lucky" becomes more a chore than a pleasure and it is a shame. I say that because there are some amusing scenes such as Poppy visiting a chiropractor after doing her back in and getting all giggly with him but the scenes of Poppy learning to drive is excruciating. The thing is that whilst some of it works I am at a loss at what the point of "Happy-Go-Lucky" is as it just seems to be a slice of life movie and a life which to be honest didn't do it for me.
What this all boils down to is that "Happy-Go-Lucky" didn't work for me as it is one of those Mike Leigh movies dominated by a character who ends up more annoying than amusing due to their over the top nature and loudness. Unfortunately this is one of those movies which becomes Marmite as you will either like it or not.