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Happy Times(幸福时光)

✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

China · 2000
Rated PG · 1h 42m
Director Zhang Yimou
Starring Zhao Benshan, Dong Jie, Dong Li-Fan, Fu Biao
Genre Drama, Comedy

Zhao is an old laid-off worker who's dreaming of getting married. After trying unsuccessful proposals, he finally pair off with a gargantuan divorcée with two children. She, however, demands a lavish wedding and that Zhao finds a job and another place to stay for her blind step-daughter. Pretending he's the General Manager of a non-existent posh hotel "Happy Times", Zhao had to find ways and means of keeping both mother and stepdaughter happy.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


Variety by Derek Elley

Small but delightful tale about a dyed-in-the-wool spieler who develops a soft spot for a blind girl dumped in his care.


Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

This is a film that goes its own way to the end as it asks the audience, "What you just saw, were they happy times or not?" The question is a good one, and the answer, like this film, is sure to stay with you.


L.A. Weekly by Mark Olsen

Anchored by two fine performances, this bittersweet comedy about second chances just might signal a new beginning for the director as well.


Austin Chronicle by Marrit Ingman

This is a film strictly for hardcore sentimentalists, despite its straight-ahead depiction of the harsh urban landscape in contemporary China.


Miami Herald by Marta Barber

May disappoint those who expect a more traditional Chinese setting. But, despite its modern look, this is far from being a Western film.


The A.V. Club by Scott Tobias

Happy Times doesn't buck the clichés so much as infuse them with feeling, playing off the pleasant, unforced rhythm of two characters who pine for simple companionship.

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