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Double Happiness (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  28 July 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 918 users  
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Twenty-two year old Chinese-Canadian Jade Li comes from a traditional Chinese family, who try to put on the perfect public persona at all cost so as to "save face". One primary part of this... See full summary »



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6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Director: Ella Raidel
Stars: Yakira Cang


Complete credited cast:
Dad Li (as Stephen M.D. Chang)
Donald Fong ...
Ah Hong
Frances You ...
Mark (as Callum Rennie)
Claudette Carracedo ...
Lisa Chan
Johnny Mah ...
Andrew Chau
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Greg Chan ...
Uncle Bing
Estelle Coppens ...
Lead Woman in Scene with Jade
Carmen the Casting Director
Nathan Fong ...
Dr. Ming Chu / Bartender
Dennis Foon ...
Kevin Kelly ...
Lead Man in Scene with Jade
Gene Kiniski ...
Man at Bus Stop


Twenty-two year old Chinese-Canadian Jade Li comes from a traditional Chinese family, who try to put on the perfect public persona at all cost so as to "save face". One primary part of this persona is prosperity. Jade's father hopes that true financial prosperity will become reality through penny stocks. Because of its instability, Jade's parents don't understand or widely publicize Jade's aspirations to be an actress. Their main want for Jade is to date and marry a nice Chinese boy, a goal for which Jade's extended family also strives as they are always trying to introduce her to Chinese boys. They believe that *the* boy is Andrew, with whom Jade even agrees to go out. But Jade, beyond wanting to be an actress, wishes her family had more western sensibilities. She is attracted to a slightly awkward but persistent Caucasian English graduate student named Mark. Jade has to figure out how to both please her family, who would not approve of her dating a Caucasian, and be true to herself. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for one scene of sexuality and brief strong language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

28 July 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bonheur aigre-doux  »

Box Office


$759,393 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jade Li: Double Happiness is when you make yourself happy and everyone else happy too.
See more »


Written by Harley McCanley and Mina Shum
Performed by no one in particular
See more »

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User Reviews

unfortunately unnoticed masterpiece
21 December 1998 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

An under-appreciated film (as many Canadian films are), Double Happiness expresses brilliantly the tightrope one often has to walk between pleasing others and pleasing oneself. Jade Li, portrayed masterfully by neophyte Sandra Oh, must choose between her desires for love and stardom and her desire to please her demanding, suffocating, ultra-traditional Chinese father. Her life complicates when she meets a sweet English major named Mark, played by Callum Keith Rennie, a hidden treasure of an actor; the scenes between Jade and Mark dynamically reflect the most uncertain nature in love, an uncertainty which often makes love all the more worth fighting for. Yet, there is a subtlety in the way writer/director Mina Shum presents Jade's nervous breakdown of a life, a subtlety which craftily creates the effect of slowly drawing the viewer into the spiralling life of Jade. With its powerful, yet simplistic (in the Hal Hartley vein) direction and tremendous performances, Double Happiness stands as a remarkable film which deserves more attention. Pity!

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