Happy Times Reviews

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August 23, 2002
A small movie with a big heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Tom Sime
Dallas Morning News
August 22, 2002
The performances are winning all around. And the comic, slice-of-life feel is charming, but takes a hike as the film progresses.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Jason Anderson
eye WEEKLY
August 20, 2002
This sort of cute and cloying material is far from Zhang's forte and it shows.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
David Elliott
San Diego Union-Tribune
August 16, 2002
There is so much plodding sensitivity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central
August 12, 2002
Aspires for the piquant but only really achieves a sort of ridiculous sourness.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
August 10, 2002
The comedy makes social commentary more palatable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
August 9, 2002
The film's maudlin focus on the young woman's infirmity and her naive dreams play like the worst kind of Hollywood heart-string plucking.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
August 9, 2002
An engaging and specific portrait of a culture in transition, even as it evokes humanity's most universal and timeless values.
Top Critic
Malene Arpe
Toronto Star
August 9, 2002
A bittersweet contemporary comedy about benevolent deception, which, while it may not rival the filmmaker's period pieces, is still very much worth seeing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
August 9, 2002
Gently humorous and touching.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
August 9, 2002
A tale of unlikely friendship in an increasingly uncaring world.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 9, 2002
To me, it sounds like a cruel deception carried out by men of marginal intelligence, with reactionary ideas about women and a total lack of empathy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
August 8, 2002
Endows humanist cinema with a heroic moral dimension.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
August 8, 2002
This is a film, like City Lights, that blends darkness and light, laughter and tears -- expertly and with love.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
August 2, 2002
The warm presence of Zhao Benshan makes the preposterous lying hero into something more than he reasonably should be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
August 2, 2002
One feels the dimming of a certain ambition, but in its place a sweetness, clarity and emotional openness that recalls the classics of early Italian neorealism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
August 2, 2002
Occasionally funny and consistently odd, and it works reasonably well as a star vehicle for Zhao.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
William Arnold
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
August 1, 2002
Busy urban comedy is clearly not Zhang's forte, his directorial touch is neither light nor magical enough to bring off this kind of whimsy.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Rod Armstrong
Reel.com
July 26, 2002
A heartwarming and bittersweet story.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
Newsday
July 26, 2002
Sentimentality and the comedy of deception conspire to enchanting effect.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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