Synopsis by Mark Deming
An artist trying to make a practical move into the world of small business learns he isn't quite practical enough in this independent comedy. Bill (Paul Gordon) is a poet whose writing career is going nowhere; realizing he needs to come up with some way of making a living, he gets the idea of opening an organic food stand to sell healthy sandwiches to passers-by in the park. Unfortunately, Bill has lousy credit and almost no savings; a banker gives him a tiny loan almost for his own amusement, and by the time Bill buys an old hot-dog cart, he's used up most of his capital. Bill soon discovers the seemingly health-conscious visitors to the park still prefer hot dogs and junk food to his organic fare, and starts giving away samples and selling sandwiches at a steep discount in hopes of attracting customers. He does find two people who start coming back on a regular basis, one of whom, Chris (Chris Doubek), begins helping out part-time in exchange for free food. Bill's friend Donnie (Jonny Mars) comes up with a plan to save the failing business by starting a sandwich-delivery service, but while it does help boost sales, Bill discovers Donnie is actually using the business as a front for an illegal enterprise he's running on the side. Written and directed by Paul Gordon, who also plays Bill, The Happy Poet received its world premiere at the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival.
artist, debt, entrepreneur, health-food, organic-food, park, vendor