Luke Gimes and Ellie Kemper in 'Happiness For Beginners'
Barbara Nitke/NETFLIX

Happiness For Beginners Is The Charming Fall Rom-Com We Deserve This Summer

Yellowstone star Luke Grimes is a totally different kind of heartthrob in Happiness For Beginners with Ellie Kemper.

Originally Published: 

Whether you’re already longing for fall, need a good rom-com, or have just finished rewatching Gilmore Girls for a 47th time and need another dose of Connecticut charm in your life, we’ve got a new movie for you. Based on the 2015 novel of the same name by Katherine Center, Happiness for Beginners stars Ellie Kemper (The Office, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) and Luke Grimes (country singer and Kayce Dutton from Yellowstone, y’all!) and is coming to Netflix on July 27.

Helen (Kemper) has always played it safe. But after her divorce she decides she needs a hard restart via the “adventure of a lifetime”: a difficult survival hike through Connecticut’s Appalachian Trail with a ragtag, kooky group of strangers... mostly. It just so happens her brother’s bestie, Jake, is also on this journey of self-discovery. (Did we mention he’s handsome? Kayce Dutton handsome.) Will Type-A Helen find love along with herself on the trail? (I mean... duh.. That’s the fun of rom-coms: you know everything will ultimately end if not perfectly than at least on an uplifting note.)

“I liked that Helen is a grump,” Kemper recently told Entertainment Weekly. “She’s a little pessimistic. She’s going through a really tough time and she doesn’t really believe in the goodness of things. It felt like that would be fun to play because it is so different from the optimistic, funny, bright-eyed women that I’ve played in the past. I wasn’t intentionally speaking up for something like that, but once I read this script, I thought, ‘Oh, this is, this is really interesting to me.’ Everybody has different sides to them, and I haven’t been able to portray that as much on TV and in film.”

In addition to Kemper and Gimes, the cast includes Nico Santos (Crazy Rich Asians), Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents), Ben Cook (West Side Story), Shayvawn Webster, Esteban Benito, Gus Birney and Julia Shiplett.

“The cast was an absolute dream and they all became good friends during our shoot,” writer and director Vicky Wight said at Netflix’s Tudum Festival. “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. ... Ellie and Luke really set a lovely, inclusive tone and they were both a joy from start to finish.”

Happiness For Beginners premieres on Netflix on July 27, 2023.

This article was originally published on