"...has a knockabout physicality that grabs your attention. But what holds it is the working-class poetry of Derek Ahonen's script. Mr. Ahonen brings the populist instincts of a born entertainer. He might be a contender yet."
"Happy In The Poorhouse is both funny and refreshingly adult."
"The writer-director's love of actors is evident in every scene -- from the fact that he created 11 juicy characters (no 'supporting roles' here) to the way he has meshed their chaotic emotions into a coherent and deeply involving slice-of-life comedy."
"Ahonen's dialogue is character-specific and spot-on, and his characters' predicaments serve as mirrors to anyone in the audience who has ever known disappointment and compromise."
"There's enough in Poorhouse to make any evening rich."
"A favorable rate of funny jokes, and an undercurrent of genuine warmth help animate Paulie's frantic campaign against uselessness and the death of dreams."
"There's no denying Ahonen's forging a unique voice."
"Poorhouse is grounded in a community with which Ahonen seems very familiar and within a generation for which he speaks eloquently. The love that underlies his work is palpable, which is why audiences care so readily for the inhabitants of it."
"What do you get when you mix camp, genuine emotion, and poetry? If you're lucky, you get Happy in the Poorhouse.