Mike Leigh's life-affirming comedy follows the fortunes of an ever-optimistic school teacher in North London. Poppy (Sally Hawkins) is the salt of the earth. Working in a primary school, she loves her job, shares a flat with her best friend, and lives her life with a smile on her face. When her bike is stolen one day, she decides she needs to learn to drive and registers at the local 'Axle School of Motoring' where she meets dour, harrassed instructor, Scott (Eddie Marsan), who seems to be Poppy's exact opposite. Tagging along with her friend Heather (Sylvestra Le Touzel) to the weekly tango class, Poppy unexpectedly hits it off with social worker Tim (Samuel Roukin). But it soon becomes clear that Scott, who up till now has shown no interest, carries a secret torch for Poppy and is extremely jealous of her new conquest.