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Ellie Kemper Embarks on a Transformative Journey in ‘Happiness for Beginners’ Preview

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Happiness for Beginners

Ellie Kemper is all set to face a thrilling challenge in the forest in the debut trailer for Happiness for Beginners. Kemper will play the character of Helen, a newly-divorced woman, in Netflix’s fresh romantic comedy. She plans to spice up her life by introducing some excitement and uncertainty through an intense wilderness survival course. She finds herself amidst a bunch of peculiar strangers, including her brother’s bothersome best friend, Jake (Luke Grimes), aiming to rediscover happiness and perhaps find unexpected love.


The trailer kicks off with Helen clarifying why she’s embarking on this proclaimed “adventure of a lifetime” – as a means to challenge herself and psychologically reset after her divorce. Her overly excited brother Duncan (Alexander Koch) humorously treats the journey as a fun-filled scout trip, earning badges and making friends, yet remains optimistic about Helen’s success. The group, however, is ill-prepared to tackle a lengthy trek through the Appalachian Trail. Despite their leader (Ben Cook) being experienced and disciplined, the group includes laid-back Mason (Esteban Benito) who is overly enthusiastic about “hike day,” the uncomfortable Hugh (Nico Santos), and Sue (Julia Shiplett) who breaks her silence to yell into the wilderness. The remaining members, including Blythe Danner, Shayvawn Webster, and Gus Birney, are also unprepared for the wilderness’s surprises, but Helen eventually grows close to each one of them.

However, Helen’s closest bond is with Jake, who admires her courage to take the course. Although they appear quite different, Katherine Center’s source novel portrays their relationship starting years ago when Jake harbored a crush on Helen. As they continue their shared hike, their bond strengthens, and Helen notices Jake’s compassionate side, which Grimes beautifully brings to life in the latter part of the trailer. With their burgeoning relationship and some wise words from her hiking companions, it appears that this “adventure of a lifetime” will indeed positively transform Helen’s life.

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Who is the Driving Force behind Happiness for Beginners?

Happiness for Beginners is the latest of Center’s works to be converted into a feature film, following the adaptation of her novel The Lost Husband in 2020 starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb. She collaborates again with director Vicky Wight for this film, who also co-wrote the script. Netflix boasts a rich library of rom-coms, but hopes that the book’s New York Times bestseller pedigree, coupled with the talents of Emmy-nominated Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt lead Kemper and Yellowstone graduate Grimes, will help this film distinguish itself from the rest.

Happiness for Beginners will be premiered on Netflix on July 28. Check out the trailer below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Happiness for Beginners

Who is the lead actress in Netflix’s ‘Happiness for Beginners’?

Ellie Kemper is the lead actress in Netflix’s ‘Happiness for Beginners’. She portrays the character of Helen, a recently divorced woman who embarks on a wilderness survival course.

What is the premise of ‘Happiness for Beginners’?

‘Happiness for Beginners’ follows the story of a recently divorced woman, Helen, who decides to inject some excitement into her life by joining a hardcore wilderness survival course. Alongside a group of quirky strangers, she hopes to rediscover happiness and possibly find love again.

Who plays Helen’s brother’s best friend Jake in ‘Happiness for Beginners’?

Luke Grimes plays the role of Jake, the best friend of Helen’s brother in ‘Happiness for Beginners’.

When will ‘Happiness for Beginners’ be available on Netflix?

‘Happiness for Beginners’ will premiere on Netflix on July 28.

Who is the director of ‘Happiness for Beginners’?

‘Happiness for Beginners’ is directed by Vicky Wight, who also helped write the screenplay for the film.

Is ‘Happiness for Beginners’ based on a book?

Yes, ‘Happiness for Beginners’ is based on the novel of the same name by Katherine Center.

More about Happiness for Beginners

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MovieBuff101 June 29, 2023 - 8:19 pm

i’ve read the book by Katherine Center, super excited to see it translated into a film. i hope they do it justice!

Kevin_23 June 29, 2023 - 8:19 pm

wow ellie kemper in a new rom-com!! Cant wait to watch her in a different role other than kimmy schmidt!!

BookWorm1990 June 29, 2023 - 9:08 pm

katherine center’s novels getting more recognition finally!! i’ve been a fan for years, really excited for the adaptation.

MountainMan June 29, 2023 - 11:23 pm

They really had to go the wilderness route huh? it seems so cliche…will watch it for Ellie tho, she’s hilarious

JuliaBakes June 30, 2023 - 2:34 am

omg! hiking in the wilderness as a way to find happiness, thats an interesting plot. so curious to see how this one plays out

Sammy_Sofa June 30, 2023 - 8:03 am

these Netflix rom-coms are like a box of chocolates, u never know what ur gonna get. fingers crossed for this one.


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