Happiness for Beginners review: Delightful drama is weak on the comical side

Happiness for Beginners follows a recently divorced Helen who goes on a hiking trip to reset her life, where she finds new friends and learns a lot more about herself. The movie is now streaming on Netflix.


Helen’s brother, Duncan, and his best friend, Jake, had warned Helen that Mike is not right for her. She still married Mike, and now they have divorced. Though they are not together anymore, they are still clinging to each other.

Helen wants a change. She plans to reset her life by going on a hiking trip. From this adventure, Helen plans to form a deeper connection with nature, rise up from the ashes like a phoenix, and earn a certificate.

Everyone questions if she is ready for this trip or not, and that only makes her more determined. However, things aren’t easy as she keeps making mistakes while Jake, who somehow ended up on this same trip, impresses everyone.

When things get hard, Helen and her new hiker friends learn to stick together and discover a thing or two about themselves.


Ellie Kemper, as Helen, is lost, but not the kind of girl who is usually lost in romcoms. Kemper shines as she portrays a more mature, goal-driven lead character that sticks to its aims and stays away from her male lead for the most part.

Luke Grimes as Jake fails to leave much impact, as his character is the same charming main lead. Only writing around his character’s story makes Jake somewhat likable.

Ben Cook as Beckett will be memorable. He isn’t a strict guide but just likes to follow the rules. His character appreciates anyone who makes an achievement, and he enjoys jokes when required. Ben Cook channels all of these emotions while keeping the character’s rule-following personality intact.

The rest of the cast plays the supporting characters beautifully. Each one of them has traits and stories that make them stand out.


Happiness for Beginners looks like the good-old predictable rom-com, but it has a different tone for sure. The dialogue and story are compelling and convincing.

The creators have tried to make the film more about the characters finding their calling than the usual rom-com plot, which is a thumbs up. Furthermore, every character’s backstory explains them and their behavior well.

The way characters learn things about hiking and themselves is entertaining in itself. A viewer is drawn to how a certain character is going to react in a certain situation.

Happiness for Beginners also sweetly serves as an ode to Mother Nature. It is filled with messages about respecting the planet that lets everyone live.

The movie also comes with a great soundtrack that matches the scenes featured. The final scene plays ‘Just Like Heaven’ by The Cure in a very beautiful manner during a heartwarming moment.


Happiness for Beginners is weak on the comical side of things. Not all jokes really land, making the film more of a drama than a romantic comedy.


Happiness for Beginners is a decent, laid-back watch. A compelling story, good dialogue, and genuine chemistry between the actors make it enjoyable.

Happiness for Beginners
Happiness for Beginners review: Delightful drama is weak on the comical side 1

Director: Vicky Wight

Date Created: 2023-07-27 12:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Happiness for Beginners summary and ending explained

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