Maybe it was three weeks in paradise, or the sleep deprivation, or the overpriced bottle of inflight red wine I'd guzzled, or perhaps it was the sleeping man in the seat next to me, wearing my ring...whatever the cause, miles above the Pacific, I was in the perfect place to absolutely love Happy-Go-Lucky. And I did.
I'll be upfront...to many people, this will be one of those movies where “nothing happens” - and sometimes that can be really annoying, at least for me. I hate it when a film is trying to make some statement about how shitty life is and that flowers wilt and you turn 40 and realize you hate yourself...and so forth. So, in Happy-Go-Lucky there is no strict adherence to screenplay formulas and yet there is a lovely little plot with a beginning and an end and the promise that the lives of these characters goes on in the same subtle magical way.
Poppy, the impossibly optimistic and delightful central character, lives on the fringes of being too nice, too outgoing, too happy. And I began to see her a philosophical character – hey, if I was still in film school I'd call her a Christ figure and just maybe that oft-sought approving nod from Prof. Begley. No matter how irritating you may find such a bubbly happy person in real life, in this film world you cannot help but being moved by her adherence to the simple belief that putting goodness out in the world will make it better.
Sometime I can be like Poppy, joyous and eager to spread my goodwill to all. I love those times. I feel like the public education system is often conspiring against this, seeking to beat me into bitter submission and then I, likewise, beat my hundred-some pupils into similar meekness. Let's me honest, we teachers; we can complain.
Complaining can be so delightfully cathartic...and it is sometimes unquestionably necessary for one's sanity. But, looking on the brighter side of life, believing that one can change the world simply through kindness is, gosh, so empowering. Who among us doesn't harbor secret (or not so secret) aspirations to do just that...move the world towards a better place?
Oh, and by the way...I love you.