Happiness For Beginners (2023) Movie: A Feel-Good Rom-Com

Happiness For Beginners is a feel-good rom-com movie for the no-so-young people. Its two lead characters find love and reclaim their lives while undertaking the self-discovery trip.

Written by Katherine Center, this movie is based on a novel with the same title name. We have shared the detailed tale of this particular novel in the Spoilers Alert sub-section below.


Synopsis (summary) of this 2023 rom-com film

Helen (Ellie Kemper) has always lived her life as far from the edge as possible. Thus, she signs up for a wilderness survival course, a year after getting divorced. On the said trip to the wild, she joins a quirky group of strangers on a survival course for the “Adventure of a Lifetime” with the hope of learning how to live — and love — again. She discovers through this experience that sometimes, you have to get really lost in order to find yourself.


Spoilers free review of the Happiness For Beginners (2023) movie

In the last few months, we felt that we had not been watching enough rom-com (romantic comedy) films. So, we decided to break this ongoing cycle. And we picked up this film.

Peek into its story in brief

Now, after watching it, late last night. We do not regret it at all. It is a good rom-com film for people who are looking for a light-hearted movie with a predictable story to watch. Moreover, it is a perfect fit for the viewers with a broken heart and/or those persons, who are waiting for a second chance in their lives.

Karen, a divorcee in her mid-thirties (or mid-forties) is taking a chance to hit the reset button in life and start afresh. Thereupon, she decides to take a proverbial moment away from the hustle and bustle of her life in the city. Thus, she joins a group of youngsters to take a trip into the wild forest area. There, she participates in “Adventure of a Lifetime”.

About its lead actors – Ellie Kemper and Luke Grimes

We loved the slow-burning romance between Ellie Kemper (Helen Carpenter) and Luke Grimes (Jake) in it. We have last seen the charming actor Luke Grimes in the Yellowstone series. Here too, he brings his boyish charisma to the fore. For this reason, maybe, he plays the love interest of beautiful Ellie Kemper (Helen Carpenter) in the film.

Notably, Ellie Kemper (Helen Carpenter) has the author-backed lead role of the protagonist. And she has done well to entice us with her grace. Thereby, she made Luke and others fall in love with her. Moreover, in this film, we watch her undertaking the complex process of understanding her true self, viz., her values, her needs, her wants, her love and her life.

Luke Grimes (Jake) prods and operates like a smooth operator. He supports her fully – the sweet love of his life. Despite all kinds of hurdles and personal problems, they decide to give each other an opportunity. Particularly, for both of them, it is like a taking second chance in their lives.

Our conclusion

Although, a bunch of jokes and funny scenes do not work in this film. Still, we think, the supporting cast members – Shayvawn Webster (Windy), Nico Santos (Hugh), Gus Birney (Kaylee), Julia Shiplett (Sue), Esteban Benito (Mason) and Ben Cook (Beckett) did good. We especially liked two extra quirky characters – Nico Santos (Hugh) and Gus Birney (Kaylee) in it. Moreover, quite a few times their funny acts made us chuckle and laugh. All of them provided good support to the two lead characters.

To conclude, we liked this heartwarming film, regardless of its flaws. It is a good time-pass film for your heart and soul, perhaps.


Spoilers alert – bonus info. about this 2023 rom-com film

Sharing the short tale from the Happiness for Beginners book

A year after getting divorced, Helen Carpenter, thirty-two, lets her annoying, ten-year-old younger brother talk her into signing up for a wilderness survival course. It’s supposed to be a chance for her to pull herself together again, but when she discovers that her brother’s even more annoying best friend is also coming on the trip, she can’t imagine how it will be anything other than a disaster.

Thus begins the strangest adventure of Helen’s well-behaved life: three weeks in the remotest wilderness of a mountain range in Wyoming where she will survive mosquito infestations, a surprise summer blizzard, and a group of sorority girls.

Yet, despite everything, the vast wilderness has a way of making Helen’s own little life seem bigger, too. And, somehow the people who annoy her the most start teaching her the very things she needs to learn. Like how to stand up for herself. And how being scared can make you brave.

And how sometimes you just have to get really, really lost before you can even have a hope of being found.

Sharing a poem by Pablo Neruda used in this film
Please note:- The following poem was used in this movie.

XVII (I do not love you...) by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Sharing a picture of the people who undertook the trip into the wild in this film
Happiness-For-Beginners-2023-Movie-Other-Image
Happiness-For-Beginners-2023-Movie-Other-Image

From left to right – Shayvawn Webster (Windy), Nico Santos (Hugh), Luke Grimes (Jake), Gus Birney (Kaylee), Julia Shiplett (Sue), Ellie Kemper (Helen), Esteban Benito (Mason) at the back and Ben Cook (Beckett).


Key details of this 2023 rom-com film

GenreComedy, Drama, Romance
Original languageEnglish (USA)
Duration1 hour 43 minutes
WritersVicky Wight & Katherine Center
DirectorVicky Wight
CastEllie Kemper (Helen Carpenter), Luke Grimes (Jake), Nico Santos (Hugh), Ben Cook (Beckett), Shayvawn Webster (Windy), Julia Shiplett (Sue), Gus Birney (Kaylee), Alexander Koch (Duncan), Mary Neely (Lulu), Esteban Benito (Mason), etc.
NetworkNetflix
About – Happiness For Beginners (2023) Film.

Poster of this 2023 rom-com film

Happiness-For-Beginners-2023-Movie-Poster
Happiness-For-Beginners-2023-Movie-Poster

FM rating of this 2023 rom-com film

FM’s rating3.50/5
FM’s short commentBased on a popular novel, we liked this feel-good movie about a divorced Helen undertaking a self-discovery journey, finding love and joy in her life.
FM Rating – Happiness For Beginners (2023) Film.

Trailer of this 2023 rom-com film

Official trailer – Happiness For Beginners (2023) Film – Netflix | YouTube.

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Featured Image & Poster of Happiness For Beginners (2023) Film | Netflix.