Happy Times

  |  Buy to Own: 16/06/2003
  |  95 min
Rated PG by the BBFC


Chinese director Yimou Zhang, better known for his brooding period dramas, moves to a modern-day setting for this bittersweet comedy of errors. Zhao (Benshan Zhao) is an economically challenged, aging bachelor who hasn't had much luck in love - so he enlists the help of a matchmaker to find a wife. When he thinks he has finally met the woman of his dreams (Lifan Dong), he leads her to believe he is wealthy and agrees to a wedding far beyond his means. Desperate for funds, he turns to his friends, and together they hatch the scheme to raise the money by refurbishing an abandoned bus they will rent out by the hour - the 'Happy Times Hotel' - to young couples starved of privacy. However, this plan goes awry when the bus is hauled away to the dump. Believing he is a wealthy hotelier, his fiancée persuades Zhao to hire her blind stepdaughter, Wu Ying (Jie Dong), as a masseuse at his hotel. Creating a tangled and hilarious mess of lies in order to employ her, Zhao must create a fake hotel environment in an abandoned factory, so that she believes he has a legitimate job.