I watched this one because Sally Hawkins won a Golden Globe for her performance this year and my curiosity was piqued. I wasn't disappointed with her at all. The film was a bit bleak, though. I didn't love it; I didn't hate it. Hawkins plays Poppy, a 30 year old primary school teacher whose wholly genuine, unique style and awkward friendly manner is not as disarming as she means it to be and instead provokes some discomfort on the part of many of the people she encounters.
Poppy enjoys trampolining once a week, tries flamenco dancing, goes dancing and drinking with her mates, and schedules driving lessons. She's embracing life and while it's painful to watch at times it's an interesting depiction of an imperfect world and a woman who is striving to make it a tiny bit better.
I'm left believing things will work out just fine for Poppy, but there is a twinge of something that reminds us that nothing is easy. In some ways I like the fact that this film isn't some happy-clappy romantic comedy that Doris Days all our troubles away. This film is something of substance sprinkled with glib speaking, playful banter that at times serves as a mask and at times reveals. It's a film of lightness and laughter, embedded in reality--and it's about a woman who chooses to smile anyway.