Happy Times

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"An hilarious look at life and the pursuit of happiness!"
  • PG
  • 2000
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 7.3  (4,152)
  • 63

Happy Times is a Chinese comedy-drama film that was released in 2000. It was directed by Zhang Yimou and starred Lifan Dong, Benshan Zhao, and Dong Jie. Set in modern-day China, the movie follows the story of a middle-aged man named Zhao, who is in love with a divorced woman named Wu Ying. In order to win her over, Zhao pretends to be the owner of a successful company and invites Wu Ying and her daughter to stay with him and his family in their decaying apartment complex, which they refer to as the "Happy Times Hotel."

Things take a turn for the worse when Wu Ying's blind father comes to visit and Zhao's lies begin to unravel. As the deception becomes more complicated, the relationships between the characters grow more complex and fraught with tension.

The plot is rich with humorous moments that make light of the awkward situations that arise from Zhao's lies. The supporting characters, who include both Zhao's family and the tenants of the "Happy Times Hotel," provide a colorful backdrop that adds depth and nuance to the story.

The film's cinematography is visually striking, with stark, muted hues that emphasize the bleakness of the environment. The decaying hotel is a perfect symbol for the characters' economic struggles, and the director does an excellent job in highlighting the disparity between the haves and have-nots in modern-day China.

The acting in Happy Times is top-notch, with standout performances from Lifan Dong and Dong Jie in the lead roles. The chemistry between the characters is palpable and adds a layer of emotional depth to the comedic aspects of the story.

Throughout the movie, there is a pervasive sense of longing, both for love and for material comfort. The storyline is a poignant commentary on the human condition, exploring themes of friendship, loyalty, and the lengths we go to seek happiness.

While the film has its moments of levity, it is by no means a light-hearted comedy. It deals with serious issues such as disability, aging, and poverty, and offers a nuanced portrayal of the challenges that Chinese society faces in the modern world.

Overall, Happy Times is a compelling and thought-provoking film that offers a glimpse into modern-day China and the struggles of its working-class citizens. It is a poignant commentary on the human condition that is both funny and profound, and will leave you thinking long after the credits roll.

Happy Times is a 2000 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 63.

Happy Times
Where to Watch Happy Times
Happy Times is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Happy Times for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (4,152)
  • Metascore