Happy Times - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Happy Times Reviews

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Marcy Dermansky
October 24, 2003
Jie Dong, who makes her film debut as the blind and unwanted Little Wu, is thin, tough and heartbreakingly lovely.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
August 10, 2003
...director Zhang Yimou imbues the story with enough heart and humor to prevent it from resembling something out of a '70s horror flick.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jamie Gillies
Apollo Guide
June 5, 2003
The basic premise is intriguing but quickly becomes distasteful and downright creepy.
Full Review | Original Score: 61/100
Paul Matwychuk
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
January 19, 2003
Happy Times sounds like any of the dozens of heart-tugging comedies that Miramax seems to release every month, but it has such a peculiar premise and the central performance by Zhao Benshan is so winning that Zhang gets away with it by the skin of
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 10, 2003
..it pulls all the heart strings it can in a shameless attempt to get real emotions.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Forrest Hartman
Reno Gazette-Journal
December 20, 2002
One might relate this story to Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. There is much to dislike in the message, but it's hard not to enjoy the craftsmanship of the tale.
| Original Score: B+
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
November 20, 2002
Even legends like Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston occasionally directed trifles... so it's no surprise to see a world-class filmmaker like Zhang Yimou behind the camera for a yarn that's ultimately rather inconsequential.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Susan Stark
Detroit News
October 11, 2002
A provocative, touching, surprising and obliquely illuminating piece.
| Original Score: 3/4
Mark Halverson
Sacramento News & Review
October 10, 2002
It is life affirming and heartbreaking, sweet without the decay factor, funny and sad.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jason Korsner
September 23, 2002
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Sean P. Means
Salt Lake Tribune
September 20, 2002
Well-meaning but unpalatable mush.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
September 20, 2002
OK, it's an offbeat premise, but it's done with more sensitivity than you might expect.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Janice Page
Boston Globe
September 20, 2002
Not a film to rival To Live, but a fine little amuse-bouche to keep your appetite whetted.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee
September 6, 2002
This humbling little film, fueled by the light comedic work of Zhao Benshan and the delicate ways of Dong Jie, is just the sort for those moviegoers who complain that 'they don't make movies like they used to anymore.'
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Kim Morgan
September 6, 2002
A Grimm fairy tale by way of Douglas Sirk, Happy Times is an affecting picture that could be considered sweet if it weren't so creepy.
Duane Dudek
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
September 5, 2002
A metaphor for a modern-day urban China searching for its identity.
| Original Score: 3/4
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
August 30, 2002
Zhang Yimou's latest film is deceptively emotive, its power hidden behind a smoke screen of comedy. We start by laughing but by the end we have tears on our cheeks.
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
August 26, 2002
Transcends the technical limitations and emerges as an oddly funny and ultimately quite affecting film...a heartfelt fable.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Laura Kelly
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
August 23, 2002
There are some wonderfully fresh moments that smooth the moral stiffness with human kindness and hopefulness.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Marta Barber
Miami Herald
August 23, 2002
Metaphors abound, but it is easy to take this film at face value and enjoy its slightly humorous and tender story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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