Does Jeffrey Wells need a hug? The Hollywood movie critic seems to have picked up an odd distaste for Mike Leigh's newest film, "Happy-Go-Lucky," a British romantic comedy that centers around a thirty year old school teacher (played by Sally Hawkins) who loves life, and couldn't be happier, no matter how many bitter, or angry people she encounters.
Wells wasn't having it. "I hate people who ask me if I'm happy because, of course, they're not really asking me that. They're saying they've observed my behavior, examined my vibe and decided that I just don't have the right peppy-happy attitude, and that I need to adjust it right away so that it pleases them." Wells went on described why these happy-wanderers piss him off so, "They're determined to beat you over the head with it until you're on your knees, bloody and begging them to stop." Shit, someone had a bad day. He went from dissenter of the film to melodramatically declaring that it was not only a crappy movie, but a threat to the America way of life by describing it as "oppressive" and a from of "emotional fascism."
The film has received strong reviews from most that have seen it, and appears to be well liked. Seriously Wells, its Mike Leigh we are talking about here, how bad can it be? This movie seems like a harmless, British romantic comedy at worst (as opposed to the vile American version). Yet Wells will not rest until this happy propaganda is destroyed. You'd think that since Leigh had only made, dark, depressive, wrist-slitting kitchen sink dramas in recent years ("Vera Drake," "Secrets & Lies") that someone would be happy for a stripe of color in the emotional milieu. Dude, you just got cute, pet kittens, what's there to be so unhappy about?