Happy-Go-Lucky is flibbertigibbet cinema.
Mike Leigh directed Sally Hawkins in this paean to a peahen.
Sally Hawkins plays Sappy -- I mean Poppy. Poppy is a primary school teacher in London; she's on a journey to see the silver lining in everything, but she doesn't know the difference between silver and dross.
So she gushes over everything. She's intrusive and self-serving. She's loud and she's vapid.
I tried to take a snooze, but Poppy kept giggling inanely and braying.
Whether shrieking at a rave, being a live wire at an after-rave party, or clucking with a girlfriend, she never lets up. She even chatters during lovemaking.
She's a human gasoline can spraying herself on every ember she encounters. She pours her giddy gasoline on teachers -- turning a flamenco teacher into a stomper and crier, and turning a cynical driving teacher (Eddie Marsan) into a ranter and rager. Having scorched her path, she blithely walks away.
British director Mike Leigh has tried to create a nice antidote to his downbeat Vera Drake (2004). Sally Hawkins didn't get an Oscar nomination, but she won a Golden Globe award as Best Actress for her ebullient turn.
Mike Leigh, let me introduce you to Fran Drescher, Kathy Griffin, and Nancy Grace.
They're your kind of women.
For a change of pace, you might want to listen to interviews that I conducted in the 70s and 80s, some of which were published in my book Voices from the Set: The Film Heritage Interviews (2000).
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