Happiness for Beginners Ending Explained – When does Helen realize Jake is in love with her?

July 28, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
M.N. Miller 0
Ending Explained, Movies, Movies - Ending Explained, Netflix, Streaming Service
2023 Netflix film Happiness for Beginners Ending Explained

We discuss the ending of the 2023 Netflix film Happiness for Beginners, which will contain significant spoilers.

Happiness for Beginners is based on Katherine Center’s 2015 novel of the same name. The story follows an English teacher named Helen Carpenter, a 32-year-old divorcee.

On the day of what would have been her sixth wedding anniversary (and almost a year after divorcing her husband of five years), Helen decides to take a wilderness survival course.

Happiness for Beginners Ending Explained

Helen’s marriage had been filled with infidelity and infertility. Now ready to move forward with her life, she reflects on the tough times she’s lived through. For instance, her mother dropped her and her brother off at her grandmother’s, Gigi’s, home, where she was raised. Little Duncan is eternally stuck in a state of arrested development.

Helen hopes that this Pennsylvania walkabout will bring her healing and self-discovery and bring out her resilience. However, it just so happens her brother’s childhood friend Jake shows up on the same trip. Jake is a doctor who has taken a break from medicine and plans on studying marine life next summer.

Why shouldn’t you walk on logs while hiking?

According to their guide, Beckett, you may break your leg. The thought process is that you may fall through a rotted-out log or trip, and there is a high probability you could damage your leg if you fall forward. Beckett brings this up when he watches Helen do this instead of stepping over a log on their initial hike (even though Helen read the rule book cover to cover).

After ten days on their hike, an independent group hikes without Beckett, and Hue walks on a log, falls through, and then forward. He breaks his leg. Helen takes it upon herself to lead the team that includes Mason, Kaylee, and Sue. She has the team triage Hue’s injuries, set up camp, and head back to the base to get help.

Why did Jake and Windy kiss?

According to Jake, he and Windy kissed when the group was playing the kids’ game Truth or Dare. When Helen initially hears this on the independent group hike, she is preoccupied with the visual. It becomes apparent that she has a crush on her brother’s friend, even though she has known him for decades, and he annoys her.

This is addressed to Helen after she makes it back to base camp. Beckett tells them they could get lost since it’s dark out, and it would be safer for everyone if they left at dawn. The team, which includes Beckett, Jake, Windy, and Helen, decides to rest before heading out in the morning.

What happened to Helen’s brother, Nathan?

Nathan was Helen’s younger brother, who drowned when he was only six years old. Nathan was the middle child of Helen and Duncan, and her mother couldn’t handle the loss. That’s why she dropped off her remaining children and Gigi at her home. This revelation comes out while talking to Jake in his tent before rescuing Hue.

Even though Jake has known Helen and Duncan for a while, he has no idea of this family tragedy. The following morning, the group heads out and uses teamwork, a theme Beckett kept reminding the group of, to carry Hue out to safety.

What is the real reason Jake quit being a doctor?

Jake has a genetic condition called retinitis pigmentosa. According to the National Eye Institute, RP is “a group of rare eye diseases that affect the retina (the light-sensitive layer of tissue in the back of the eye). RP makes cells in the retina break down slowly over time, causing vision loss.”

Jake makes this revelation after he goes missing while fishing at their campground. Helen finds him sitting in the dark under a tree. Jake lost his glasses, and his RP made it very difficult to walk in the darkness. After telling Helen this, she is very empathetic, and they almost kiss before Windy interrupts them.

When does Helen realize Jake is in love with her?

Helen realizes the poem Jake gave her was a way of telling her he’s in love with her. After leaving the motel to return home after becoming upset that she overheard Jake have someone back home, she visits Gigi. Her grandmother notices a change in her for the better. At her grandmother’s home, she reads the poem that says:

“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

Later, at her grandmother’s birthday party, she reconciles with her little brother Duncan, who arranges for Jake to surprise her at the party while on the dance floor. Jake tells her he has no more time to waste and wants to be with her for as long as possible. Helen kisses him. Jake then asks if she wants to see him dance.

Helen nods and then asks, “Do you want to see me dance?” He replies, “As long as I can.”

What did you think of the ending of the 2023 Netflix film Happiness for Beginners? Comment below.

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