7.8/10
18,662
77 user 43 critic

Happy Together (1997)

Chun gwong cha sit (original title)
Trailer
1:26 | Trailer
A couple take a trip to Argentina but both men find their lives drifting apart in opposite directions.

Director:

Kar-Wai Wong (as Kar Wai Wong)

Writer:

Kar-Wai Wong (as Kar Wai Wong)
7 wins & 19 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A man tries to find out who his real mother is after the woman who raised him tells him the truth.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau
Fallen Angels (1995)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

This Hong Kong-set crime drama follows the lives of a hitman, hoping to get out of the business, and his elusive female partner.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Stars: Leon Lai, Michelle Reis, Takeshi Kaneshiro
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two melancholy Hong Kong policemen fall in love: one with a mysterious female underworld figure, the other with a beautiful and ethereal server at a late-night restaurant he frequents.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Stars: Brigitte Lin, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Tony Chiu-Wai Leung
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A broken-hearted hit man moves to the desert where he finds skilled swordsmen to carry out his contract killings.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Stars: Brigitte Lin, Maggie Cheung, Leslie Cheung
2046 (2004)
Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Several women enter a science fiction author's life over the course of a few years, after the author has lost the woman he considers his one true love.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Faye Wong
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Mid-level gangster Wah falls in love with his beautiful cousin, but must also continue to protect his volatile partner-in-crime and friend, Fly.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Stars: Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung, Jacky Cheung
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Maggie Cheung, Ping Lam Siu
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Stars: Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, Ziyi Zhang, Jin Zhang
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The story of two men, who met as apprentices in the Peking Opera, and stayed friends for over 50 years.

Director: Kaige Chen
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Fengyi Zhang, Li Gong
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young lonely woman takes a soul-searching journey across America to resolve her questions about love while encountering a series of offbeat characters along the way.

Director: Kar-Wai Wong
Stars: Norah Jones, Jude Law, Natalie Portman
Yi Yi (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Each member of a middle class Taipei family seeks to reconcile past and present relationships within their daily lives.

Director: Edward Yang
Stars: Nien-Jen Wu, Elaine Jin, Issei Ogata
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A dad and a mom, who both devote themselves into working, they take smoking as the only way to release the emotional pressure. Their kid gets surrounded by second hand smoke everyday, and eventually gets cancer.

Director: Leslie Cheung
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Anita Mui, Karen Mok
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Leslie Cheung ... Ho Po-wing
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Lai Yiu-fai (as Tony Chiu Wai Leung)
Chen Chang ... Chang
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gregory Dayton Gregory Dayton ... Lover
Shirley Kwan ... (scenes cut)
Edit

Storyline

Yiu-Fai and Po-Wing arrive in Argentina from Hong Kong and take to the road for a holiday. Something is wrong and their relationship goes adrift. A disillusioned Yiu-Fai starts working at a tango bar to save up for his trip home. When a beaten and bruised Po-Wing reappears, Yiu-Fai is empathetic but is unable to enter a more intimate relationship. After all, Po-Wing is not ready to settle down. Yiu-Fai now works in a Chinese restaurant and meets the youthful Chang from Taiwan. Uhf zacnjb-Fai's life takes on a new spin, while Po-Wing's life shatters continually in contrast. Written by Perry Yu <perry@pobox.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Hong Kong | Japan | South Korea

Language:

Mandarin | Cantonese | Spanish

Release Date:

30 May 1997 (Hong Kong) See more »

Also Known As:

Happy Together See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$153,096, 14 November 1997

Gross USA:

$187,508, 23 November 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Tony Chiu-Wai Leung agreed to do the film on the basis of a fake script. He only learned of the requirement of doing a gay sex scene after arriving in Argentina for filming. See more »

Goofs

Before Fai push starts the old car, the engine has already started while it is standing still. See more »

Quotes

Ho Po-wing: Lai Yiu-fai... we could start over.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In some prints, Jacques Picoux (the French subtitle translator) is listed twice in a row in the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adaptation. (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

3 Amigos
Live Recording
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Turns out that lonely people are all the same.
10 August 2005 | by film-criticSee all my reviews

Just when you thought that you knew everything about Hong Kong cinema or about romantic adventures in film, director Kar Wai Wong steps forward and eliminates all boundaries. Transforming your typical picture of a straight couple and violently handing us the relationship of Yiu-fai and Po-wing using untraditional cinematography is only scratching the surface of this picture. If you found yourself shocked by the opening sequence or annoyed by the drastic image of the film, then you definitely are not a film junkie. This movie had everything a cinephile would desire like strong characters, a non-linear story, and the brazen truth about modern society's relationships. This was more than just a gay film, but instead a story about emotions and loves, coupled with all the turmoil that surrounds it. It is ironic that the title of the film is Happy Together, because it completely challenges the true themes. It is about love, but about the difficulties that surround a dying relationship. From the visual opening to the amazing use of several different cinematography techniques, Happy Together may not suit everyone, but to this film junkie it opened a new door in Hong Kong cinema.

This film would not have worked if it weren't for the apparent brilliance of director Kar Wai Wong. While I have been impressed with his other films like In the Mood for Love and his work on the BMW series, The Hire, this film literally blew me out of the water. To begin, the opening sequence. If this very sexual opening doesn't set the tone for the rest of the film, I don't know what will. I was shocked, disturbed, and on-edge the entire time. I didn't see the love between our two characters at all in the beginning, but that was because it was to show the destruction of their relationship. Then, Wong did several things that just impressed me and kept my attention focused on the film. First, he took these two vacationing men from Hong Kong and set them in a foreign city. So, not only was it uneasy to watch this relationship disintegrate in front of our eyes, but to be lost in a unfamiliar city only made it worse. Second, he focused the camera on only one of the characters (Yiu-fai) to enhance that sensation about Po-wing's indiscretions. Through Yiu-fai we felt the human emotions just boil through of having to see a love that only hurt. Finally, he continually changed the cinematography through different scenes. This was impressive because it only added more tension to our characters and themes. Two travelers lost in a foreign country, trying to patch a dying relationship, with a constantly changing cinematic style, was tough to watch … but that was the theme that Wong wanted to capture. This is not your typical romantic picture, but instead it showcases the truth about two men that perhaps were not the greatest fit. Even when he throws in the waterfall element, it only adds to the overall theme. The waterfall, to me, represented the falling relationship. Beauty on the outside, a violent tendency as the water falls … just like our relationship.

Wong successfully created this tension by hiring some of Hong Kong's best actors. They carried themselves with the greatest of comfort and control. I felt as if I knew these characters by the end of the film. I felt as if I had gone through a similar struggle as they did. These two men challenged the idea of "normal" relationships, yet kept their personas simple, human, and intense. You could not help but feel emotion for these two, even if you did not like the story. They kept the tones light when they needed to be, then brought you deep within the rabbit hole when the darkness erupted. The final scenes of this film are fascinating to watch, and I had to see them again. The downfall of Yiu-fai into a role similar to Po-wing was heartbreaking, yet stunning. Here we have two men who I thought were complete opposites from the beginning, yet somehow, to quote Wong, "Turns out that lonely people are all the same."

Finally, I cannot finish without saying that the cinematography was outstanding in this film. The use of black and white in the beginning and slowly bringing in the colors was breathtaking. This film was more than just actors working for a director, but instead a director creating art. Christopher Doyle bulls-eyed the tone of the film and brought forth an intense picture that only complimented Wong's work. It just impresses me to see a film, like Happy Together, where all the elements come together and work in unison. It is a rarity in today's Hollywood, but thankfully we have directors like Kar Wai Wong whom embrace it. From the beginning of the movie until the final scenes, Doyle challenges an brings together some of the most beautiful scenes in cinema, transforming the normal into the extraordinary.

Overall, this was a spectacular film. After I watched it the first time, I had to see it again, but didn't know if I could. Its emotional strength was so overwhelming that I had to stop myself. I couldn't watch these two brilliant actors tear my heart apart again. It was a sad film, it was an angry film, but most importantly it was a film about being lost in love. Those who may have enjoyed Lost in Translation, this would be a great film to match with it. While not structured the same, it does give us that feeling of being apart in a new world, struggling to get home or to discover one's self. Wong is one of the greatest directors in the world, and I cannot wait to open my soul to his work again. Brilliant film-making, determined and unmatched acting, coupled with the best cinematography this world has ever encountered! A must for everyone!

Grade: **** out of *****


84 of 88 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 77 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed