FINALLY, a heroine I can get behind!


I recently saw a great little movie called Happy-Go-Lucky. I’m not the hugest fan of British cinema or TV, honestly, so it was slightly annoying on that front (and to be honest, they could have cut out a good 40 minutes and it would have been even better, although I have been known to have a heavy cutting hand, so maybe that’s just me). What I really liked was the exploration of a character without the pathos of most cinematic heroines these days. So many movies these last few decades are deconstructing what it means to be a thinking adult in a very scary world, and the product is a canon of unsettling, depressing, dark celluloid. While it is a very scary world out there, it’s also a beautiful one, in my estimation, and while I understand that fact does not make for fascinating film fodder, it makes me appreciate films like this one.

Poppy is the main character, and she’s a free-spirited, elementary-school teacher with an overly-optimistic view of life. We see her in many facets of her life, how she deals with realities around her, and people in her life that do not see the world the way she does. I sometimes feel a little like this girl. Call me naive if you like, but I refuse to give in to the darkness around me just because I have a brain and can understand the realities of what is happening out there.

This is an excerpt of a review of the movie and the character of Poppy that I wanted to share! As a woman working in the media, I’d like to see more of this kind of story being told, and it’s part of my master plan to help make that happen! Kudos to Mike Leigh.

“As we get to know Poppy, we realize that she is not naïve at all but, rather, that she is simply a person who has the audacity to be emotionally mature. She has seen the world for what it is and she does have the moral wherewithal to productively deal with it. This is not a sardonic look at a world that does not accept our protagonist, who must therefore learn to “love herself,” as we see in many hit indie movies these days. Poppy is perfectly fine with who she is, and, what’s more, most of those who are close to her are perfectly fine with who she is as well. This is not because she is some lovable, quirky loser but, rather, because she is excellent at her job; because she is a good friend, an understanding sister and an attractive lover; and because she has the mental and emotional fortitude to deal with the troubling situations she encounters. Poppy is not a lovable underdog, nor is her happy demeanor a guise for some hidden failing or insecurity. Leigh’s film is very much an honest and unflinching look at what is real, but it is a different side of the real than we are accustomed to. It is a study of a character who is not emotionally damaged, or irreparably morally flawed.”


4 Responses

  1. I just saw Happy-Go-Lucky last night. Her character was slightly annoying (constantly making a noise even if it wasn’t a word bothered me) but she definitely doesn’t give in to the dark world. Like you, I appreciate that.

    • She was slightly annoying in that way, but I chalk it up to the British thing. 🙂 And overall, she was likable, at least to me.

  2. i saw the clips on the golden globes and wanted to see it. do you still have it?

  3. also, i love the brits. you people are crazy. 🙂

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