In 2023, Netflix brings to life the heartwarming romantic comedy “Happiness for Beginners,” directed by Vicky Wight. Drawing inspiration from the novel of the same name, the film delves into the charming journey of two lovable characters, Helen (portrayed by Ellie Kemper) and Jake (played by Luke Grimes). The story centers around Helen and Jake, whose paths cross during a captivating wilderness survival course. For those who savor picturesque locations, “Happiness for Beginners” offers a delightful retreat, as it is set amidst a plethora of breathtaking landscapes. Nature’s beauty is in abundance, providing a perfect backdrop for the heartwarming story to unfold.
Furthermore, fans of “The Office” will be thrilled to see their beloved Erin taking center stage in this endearing tale.
What is the movie about?
Happiness for Beginners follows the journey of Helen Carpenter, a 32-year-old woman trying to rebuild her life after a difficult divorce. Feeling lost and seeking a fresh start, she decides to embark on a life-changing adventure by enrolling in a wilderness survival course in the picturesque Appalachian Mountains. Little does she know that this decision will not only help her find herself but also lead her to unexpected love and a renewed sense of purpose.
As Helen sets foot on the trail, she quickly realizes she’s an outsider to the close-knit group of hikers. However, as the days pass, she manages to break through the initial barriers and begins to endear herself to her fellow trekkers, a colorful collection of individuals, each with their own unique reasons for seeking solace in the wilderness.
Throughout the journey, Helen experiences the transformative power of nature and the camaraderie that blossoms among the hikers. As they share stories, challenges, and moments of vulnerability, Helen starts to heal her emotional wounds and discover a whole new meaning to life.
Amidst the diverse group of hikers, Helen encounters Jake, a charming and rugged outdoorsman who captures her heart. Despite trying to resist the attraction, the two find themselves drawn to each other. However, their budding romance faces a formidable obstacle – Jake is the best friend of Helen’s younger brother, adding a complex layer of tension to their relationship.
As the days pass, the relationship between Helen and Jake deepens, and they can no longer ignore their feelings for each other. The course of true love proves to be challenging as they grapple with the potential consequences of their newfound connection, especially considering their existing ties outside of the wilderness.
Where was Netflix’s ‘Happiness for Begineers’ shot? – Filming Locations
The romantic comedy was filmed in Connecticut, with a focus on the picturesque Fairfield County. The film’s principal photography began in September 2021 and successfully concluded in November of the same year.
With Connecticut’s abundance of stunning hiking trails, it provided the perfect backdrop for this heartwarming Netflix movie.
Fairfield County, Connecticut
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The story of ‘Happiness for Beginners’ unfolds against the picturesque backdrop of Fairfield County, nestled in the enchanting southwestern corner of Connecticut. Throughout the film, the pivotal sequences that shape Helen’s journey are meticulously crafted within the charming embrace of this region. The production team wisely chose Stamford as their base, utilizing its dynamic cityscape as a canvas for capturing the essence of Helen’s life before embarking on her transformative adventure at the adult camp in the serene woods.
With a keen eye for authenticity, the filmmakers opted for on-location shooting, lending a palpable realism to every scene. From Helen’s cozy residence to the bustling streets of the city, each frame exudes the genuine atmosphere of the City That Works. This attention to detail not only transports the audience into Helen’s world but also accentuates the emotional depth of her experiences as she prepares to embrace the unknown.
The movie beautifully captures the essence of the Appalachian Trail, starting from its southernmost point in Springer Mountain, Georgia, and spanning through 14 states, including Connecticut’s Fairfield County. While the trail extends almost 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine, a significant part of the movie’s sequences was shot in the 52-mile stretch that falls within Fairfield County.
Before Helen sets off on her trek to find herself, the city scenes are filmed in Stamford, providing a contrast between the urban environment and the more rural and natural settings that lie along the Appalachian Trail. This transition adds to the movie’s overall feel and highlights the transformative nature of Helen’s journey.
Throughout the film, the characters are seen carrying lightweight tents, tent hammocks, or tarps, staying true to the real-life practices of hikers on the Appalachian Trail. This attention to detail creates an air of accuracy about the movie’s location and hiking elements.
In addition to featuring the trail itself, the movie incorporates various Fairfield County locales, such as Franklin Street Works, the Housatonic Museum of Art, the Connecticut Grand Opera, the Greater Bridgeport Symphony, and the Western Connecticut Youth Orchestra. These locations add depth to the story, presenting a blend of natural beauty and cultural experiences that the characters encounter during their journey.
As the characters camp through the hike, the film captures the secluded and picturesque areas of the Appalachian Trail, allowing the audience to immerse themselves in the beauty and serenity of nature. Helen’s personal growth and transformation are intertwined with the breathtaking landscapes, making the trail an integral part of the movie’s narrative.
Is ‘Happiness for Beginners’ available to stream on Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu, or Prime Video?
Yes! You can now watch Happiness for Beginners on Netflix. Since this is a Netflix Original, the film will stay on the streaming service for as long as possible and can only be accessed with a Netflix subscription.