Happy Times (2002)
Critic Reviews for Happy Times
A provocative, touching, surprising and obliquely illuminating piece.
Zhang Yimou delivers warm, genuine characters who lie not through dishonesty, but because they genuinely believe it's the only way to bring happiness to their loved ones.
Not a film to rival To Live, but a fine little amuse-bouche to keep your appetite whetted.
Metaphors abound, but it is easy to take this film at face value and enjoy its slightly humorous and tender story.
The performances are winning all around. And the comic, slice-of-life feel is charming, but takes a hike as the film progresses.
Audience Reviews for Happy Times
Cute little film. I was glad to see it after mainly seeing "epics" coming out of China.
Magical. Quirky and very different to Yimou Zhangs other films.
Happy Times is set in present-day China, in a modern, unnamed city, exploring the many costs of modern times. The two central characters feel left behind in a rapidly changing Beijing, and when they try to catch up, they find love instead of the money they seek. The film never does choose between comedy and tragedy, and the final plot twist turns it into a failed fairy tale. With too many contrived characters and plot turns, Happy Times eventually seems weightless.
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