Double Happiness (1995)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


Want to See

Not Interested

Add Rating
My Rating    

Movie Info

Family ghosts, generational conflict, and the immigrant experience frame this episodic comedy-drama about a Chinese-born Canadian woman's quest for self-definition, which marked the debut of writer/director Mina Shum. Jade Li (Sandra Oh), an aspiring actress in her early twenties, lives at home with her strict father (Stephen Chang), her dutiful mother (Alannah Ong), and her sweet younger sister, Pearl (Frances You). Their older brother, Winston, has been disowned -- a fate Jade is not eager to share, both for her own sake and to spare her family pain. Therefore, although she manages to land a few bit parts on camera, Jade spends most of her time working in the shop owned by a family friend, performing the duties of a respectful daughter and suffering through arranged dates with prosperous young Chinese men. An adept cultural chameleon, though, she also leads a double life, hanging out with best friend Lisa (Claudette Carracedo) and beginning a tentative romance with Caucasian college student Mark (Callum Keith Rennie). When her father's childhood friend arrives for a visit, however, Jade must juggle her competing identities even more carefully than usual, lest her choice of professions -- and boyfriends -- shame her father. After premiering at the 1994 Toronto International Film Festival, Double Happiness won several international awards and made its U.S. bow at Sundance in 1995. Writer/director Shum -- who, like her protagonist, was born in Hong Kong but raised in Canada -- appears briefly on camera as a casting director who doesn't think Jade is Chinese enough. Oh, who is actually of Korean descent, won a best actress Genie Award (the Canadian equivalent of an Oscar) for her portrayal of Jade. The part of Dad Li marked a departure for Chang, a frequent martial arts movie villain and real-life friend of Bruce Lee.


Sandra Oh
as Jade Li
Johnny Mah
as Andrew Chau
Frances You
as Pearl Li
Donald Fong
as Sau Wan Chin
Barbara Tse
as Mrs. Mar
Nathan Fong
as Robert Chu
Estelle Coppens
as Lead Woman
So Yee Shum
as Auntie Bing
Greg Chen
as Uncle Bing
Dennis Foon
as Director
Kevin Kelly
as Lead Man
Gene Kiniski
as Man at Bus Stop
Tosca Chin Wah Leong
as Linda Taylor Wong
Mimi Mok
as Mrs. Mar
Laara Ong
as Selina
Tony Seaver
as Bouncer
Wong Shuck
as See-Fu Geomancer
Mina Shum
as Janet Eng
May Tam
as Grandmother
View All

Critic Reviews for Double Happiness

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

Compelling idea, but slow, boring execution.

Jul 14, 2003 | Rating: 2/5

Delightful Canadian film about one young woman's coming-of-age.

Aug 28, 2002 | Full Review…

When people say, "Write what you know," they don't mean, "Write about YOU YOU YOU!"

Jun 18, 2001 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for Double Happiness


Good movie, but can someone say "worst DVD cover ever?" More later, maybe.

Drew Smith
Drew Smith

Super Reviewer


A favorite. Love this movie! Sandra Oh is simply great in this film.

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer


This is one of my favorite movies, really funny and clever look at a generational family having a bit of culture shock.

Hogans Hero
Hogans Hero

Super Reviewer


Good movie.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer

Double Happiness Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features