Parents' Guide to


By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Thoughtful comedy's charm outweighs mild iffiness.

Movie R 2008 118 minutes
Happy-Go-Lucky Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 12+


The language is the only concern here. There are 10 F-Words, 8 of which are said during one scene where an angry character lashes out at somebody else. You can't even hear most of them because the character is chasing someone else and is almost out of breath. If your child can handle 2 F-Words, then they can handle this movie.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 13+

Waste of time

I'm sorry, but *to me* this movie was very boring.. I kept wondering when I was going to see a plot forming. Basically it just shows how an airhead who has not yet grown up at 30 lives her life which is sometimes responsible (as a teacher) and sometimes not (getting drunk with the girls, sex on first date). Then she gets involved with a psycho driving instructor and has to deal with his aggressive antics. If I were to sum it up, it is about an ditzy young woman who refuses to grow up and always wears "rose colored" glasses.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2):
Kids say (3):

This is a movie with serious undercurrents and a dazzling performance by Hawkins. Director Mike Leigh -- who's well-known for constructing his movies from an idea, a sharp eye for extraordinary actors, and six months of improvisation and "rehearsal" -- has moved away from the serious subjects of his recent past (Vera Drake) to make what appears at first glance to be a frothy comedy. But there's much more to Happy-Go-Lucky.

Just beneath the surface of what seems to be Poppy's unwavering good spirit lies a wise, sensitive, and courageous young woman. She works hard, parties hard, yearns for a fulfilling relationship, and encounters evidence of the anger and pathology of strangers that could be around any corner. She's one of those people who's not afraid to look -- or to help. Nothing less than the profound question of how happiness is possible in today's world is at the heart of this film. Poppy's answer? It's a choice.

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate