The Happy Poet (2013)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

THE HAPPY POET is an all-organic, mostly vegetarian comedy about Bill, a struggling poet who pours his heart, soul, and last few dollars into starting a healthy food stand, surprising friends and customers with his dry wit and offbeat passion. Motivated by help from a rag-tag group of supporters and a budding romance with a poetry-loving customer, Bill strives to make a difference in the world, until surprising complications jeopardize his new friendships and threaten Bill's dreams for a hot dog-free future. THE HAPPY POET cleverly re-works the classic American film story of the underdog struggling against the system, adding a dose of deadpan humor and a fresh take on a young generation's interest in the intersection of a social conscience and the food we eat. -- (C) Cinema Libre
Comedy , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Jonny Mars
as Donnie
Chris Doubek
as Curtis
Liz Fisher
as Agnes
Carlos Trevino
as Derrick
Troy Anthony Miller
as Econtainer Salesman
Paul Famighetti
as Ungrateful Customer
Nancy Gresham
as Hot Dog Girl
Frank Veierstahler
as Customer #2
Donald Robinson, Jr.
as Customer #3
Kelle Austin
as Customer #4
Sean Gallagher
as Vegan Cookie Guy
Matt Muir
as Party Guy #1
David Fabelo
as Party Guy #2
Anika Kunik
as Smoking Woman
Carolyn Gordon
as Bill's Mom
Robie Gay
as Randy
Sean Gallagher
as Vegan Cookie Guy
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Critic Reviews for The Happy Poet

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (4)

[Paul Gordon generates] good-natured humor through earthy characterization and precise observation of what it's like to run a small business. (His editing, which often approximates the rhythm of workaday drudgery, is clever without being cutesy.)

Full Review… | July 26, 2013
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It's hardly slick, but that's the selling point. The Happy Poet approaches the ups and downs of friendship, love, work and life with a disposition that is both sardonic and sunny.

Full Review… | June 27, 2013
Washington Post
Top Critic

This mumblecore entry sometimes sacrifices ambiguity for the sake of broader, telegraphed, one-note laughs.

Full Review… | September 18, 2010
Top Critic

The smiley ending, most likely meant to be ironic, feels tacked on. But the consistent comic tone of those earlier scenes--a gentle squirm--makes The Happy Poet a promising debut.

Full Review… | September 16, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

A cutting edge social satire about vegetarian pushcart power. And how work, or the lack of it, informs our lives. Along with the struggle to survive in hard times, while serving up poetic revenge subversion of the Hollywood happy ending with relish.

Full Review… | January 28, 2014
WBAI Radio

THE HAPPY POET tells a story that could use a little more meat.

Full Review… | June 27, 2013
Mark Leeper's Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Happy Poet

A unique and quirkily entertaining film. The problem is that Paul Gordon brings this realistic story to a totally unrealistically contrite "wrap-up" ending. The last ten minutes of this film almost ruin it. But, this is a film well worth watching. All of the performances are top notch -- particularly Johnny Mars' portrayal of the gentle-hearted stoner boy.

Matty Stanfield
Matty Stanfield

between a 6/10 and 7/10, the smiley ending, most likely meant to be ironic, feels tacked on. But the consistent comic tone of those earlier scenes--a gentle squirm--makes The Happy Poet a promising debut.

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

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