At a crossroads after her divorce, a schoolteacher ventures toward a fresh start in life — and love — when she signs up for a grueling group hiking trip.
This feel-good Netflix Original romantic comedy-drama follows Helen (Ellie Kemper), a woman who has always played it safe in life.
But following her divorce, she decides to change the course of her predictable life when she joins a quirky group of strangers for a backcountry survival course hiking the Appalachian Trail. As she is tested and challenged like never before, Helen does her best to learn how to live and love again.
Vicky Wright adapts another book from Katherine Center
Happiness for Beginners is an upcoming romantic comedy-drama movie. It is based on the novel of the same name written by Katherine Center. The film adaptation is written and directed by Vicky Wright, who is responsible for adapting another of Center’s novels, The Lost Husband. The pair join forces with producers Geoff Linville and Berry Meyerowitz. Jeff Sackman and Larry Greenburg executive produce the picture. Daniel Vecchione handles the cinematography.
The cast of Happiness for Beginners includes Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star, Ellie Kemper. Taking on the lead role of Helen Carpenter, Kemper is a two-time Emmy nominee. She is joined by Luke Grimes of Yellowstone fame and Nico Santos, known for his role in Crazy Rich Asians. Acclaimed actress Blythe Danner rounds out the cast.
Everything You Need to Know About ‘Happiness for Beginners’
For some, a post-divorce reset means getting a drastic new haircut. But in Happiness for Beginners, Helen (Ellie Kemper) deals with the end of her marriage in a more creative way: by enrolling in a backcountry survival course hiking the Appalachian Trail.
Written and directed by Vicky Wight, this adaptation of Katherine Center’s novel of the same name follows Helen as she and her quirky group of fellow hikers test themselves against nature. As it turns out, though, bear traps and blisters might be easier to deal with than the arrival of handsome newcomer Jake (Luke Grimes). Will Helen find more than mosquitoes in the wilderness?
Get a first look at Kemper and Grimes as Helen and Jake in the trailer above, and keep scrolling for more information on Happiness for Beginners.
What is Happiness for Beginners about?
Helen has always played it safe. But now, newly divorced, she joins a course promising the “adventure of a lifetime” with the hope of learning how to live — and love — again.
“I thought it was such a well-told story of one woman’s experience in getting to know herself better,” Kemper tells Tudum about what drew her to the film. “I was immediately excited about the prospect of playing a woman whose outlook on life, when we first meet her, isn’t so sunny. I’ve played a lot of optimistic rubes, and Helen was neither.”
Who is in the cast of Happiness for Beginners?
Nico Santos, Blythe Danner, Ben Cook, Shayvawn Webster, Esteban Benito, Gus Birney and Julia Shiplett join Kemper and Grimes on this woodsy adventure.
“The cast was an absolute dream and they all became good friends during our shoot,” Wight says. “Not only did everyone shine individually but each actor was an exceptionally generous and inventive scene partner. They were improvisational and trusting with one another and me, which added so much chemistry on-screen.”
Speaking of chemistry: “Ellie and Luke really set a lovely, inclusive tone and they were both a joy from start to finish,” Wight adds.
Is Happiness for Beginners based on a book?
Yes. The film is based on the 2015 novel by Katherine Center. In fact, Happiness for Beginners is Wight’s second adaptation of a title from Center’s oeuvre. In 2020, she released The Lost Husband, based on Center’s 2013 novel of the same name.
But whether you’re already a fan or coming in fresh, Wight warns she has some surprises planned ahead. “Katherine is the perfect novelist when it comes to adaptation because she’s hands off,” Wight says. “She understands that the novel can’t go word-for-word on-screen so she’s very supportive about the process of reshaping the story while keeping the integrity of her source material. There’s a reason novels are credited as ‘based on’ or ‘inspired by’ when they’re adapted, and Katherine truly gets it.”
When is the release date for Happiness for Beginners?
Mark your calendars! Happiness for Beginners will stream on Netflix on July 27. “I hope it feels like an escape and a little adventure with friends,” Wight says about the film. Until then, she offers a piece of wisdom: “Happiness is all about letting go of the past and being where your feet are.”
What should I watch in the meantime?
Check out Wight’s 2020 film The Lost Husband or lose yourself in some of the romantic comedies currently streaming on Netflix below:
How to Watch “Happiness for Beginners Movie” Online:
You’ll eventually be able to stream “Happiness for Beginners Movie” exclusively on Disney+. A Disney+ subscription costs just $7.99 a month (with ads) and will give you access to watch “Happiness for Beginners Movie” online along with a ton of other Marvel content (see a full list here). For ad-free viewing, you can choose the plan that costs $10.99/month.
Once you’ve subscribed, you’ll be able to watch “Happiness for Beginners Movie” on your smart TV, laptop, or tablet using Apple TV, Roku, or other similar devices.
If you’re looking for a better deal, go with the Disney Bundle Deal, which will get you access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ for just $19.99/month. Once subscribed, you can stream “Happiness for Beginners Movie” when it drops on Disney+, and even watch “Only Murders in the Building” on Hulu or the next soccer game on ESPN+.
Is “Happiness for Beginners Movie” On Netflix?
No, “Happiness for Beginners Movie” will not be available on Netflix — at least not anytime soon, since it will be heading straight to Disney+ after its theatrical release. In the meantime, you’ll just have to wait for it to become available on the Disney+ streaming platform.
Is “Happiness for Beginners Movie” On HBO Max?
No, “Happiness for Beginners Movie” will not be on HBO Max since it’s not a Warner Bros. movie. In the meantime, you’ll just have to head out to a movie theater or wait for it to become available to stream on Disney+.
Is “Happiness for Beginners Movie” Streaming On Hulu?
Viewers are saying that they want to view the new action movie “Happiness for Beginners Movie” on Hulu. Unfortunately, this is not possible since Hulu currently does not offer any of the free episodes of this series.
How to Watch “Happiness for Beginners Movie” Free Online:
Disney+ does not offer a free trial, unfortunately, but there are other ways to stream “Happiness for Beginners Movie” for free when it comes to Disney+.
If you are a Verizon subscriber, you may be eligible for their “Disney+ On Us” deal giving you access to six months of Disney+ for free. Sign up now or register for the free streaming deal with your Verizon plan here. Then, you’ll be all set to stream “Happiness for Beginners Movie” for free on Disney+ as soon as it drops.
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There are a few ways to watch “Happiness for Beginners Movie” online in the U.S. You can use a streaming service such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video. You can also rent or buy the movie on iTunes or Google Play. You can also watch it on-demand or on a streaming app available on your TV or streaming device if you have cable.