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Double Happiness (1994)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 28 July 1995 (USA)
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 & 6 nominations. See more awards »


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


Drama | Romance

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.
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User Reviews

Marginal Contentedness
26 July 1999 | by (California) – See all my reviews

While the title is something of a misnomer, this well-written, superbly acted coming-of-age tale is undoubtedly one of the best films of its genre. It is unique, original, funny, intelligent, beautiful, and inspiring. In short, it is Canadian. Sandra Oh, one of the most emotionally devastating actresses of our time, plays liberated dreamer Jade Li who hopes to escape the suffocating environment of her over-bearing parents' expectations and become an actress.

Double Happiness delves into all of its components with equal sensitivity and skill. Jade is the very essence of youth's wanderlust and creative vitality, her parents the quintessential picture of over-protective cultural transplants. Jade's young sister Pearl is the go-between, lovingly supportive of her sister's blossoming talent while resentful of the rift it creates within the family. Already rent from their disowned brother (who committed similar indiscretions), Jade must walk the thin line between traditional Chinese values and enlightened Canadian independence. While quietly entertaining her dramatic ambitions, she begins to kindle a forbidden love affair with a young Caucasian man which ultimately forces her to choose between loyalty to her father and loyalty to her own dreams.

If you are like me and expect a literal interpretation of the title, the ending will leave you wondering exactly who came up with it and where you might write to his or her employers to ask to have him or her severely reprimanded, but this in no way diminishes the fine accomplishments by the cast and crew in making Double Happiness a work of cinematic art. Callum Keith Rennie as Jade's lover is heart-breakingly perfect in his first major feature role and Sandra Oh is nothing short of Oscar-worthy--but I guess Genies will have to do for now.

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