“Double Happiness” and “Do the Right Thing” Film Analysis

It is apparent that various countries, ethnicities, and researchers have different views about the cultural diversities. A primary goal of this essay is to compare and contrast the points about different attitudes towards diversities, which were presented in two movies, Double Happiness and Do the Right Thing. It is apparent that both of these films address cultural and social issues related to the different attitudes about ethnic plethora. However, some of their views remain dissimilar.

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Nonetheless, the book Unlikely Utopia: The Surprising Triumph of Canadian Pluralism by Adams and Langstaff will help establish the primary differences, which were presented in the two movies. Various aspects such as tolerability of intercultural relationships and dissimilarities between assimilation and multiculturalism will contribute to performing a sufficient comparison. In the end, the conclusion will be vital, as it is necessary to summarize all the findings, which were discovered in the assessment.

The Portrayal of Different Kinds of Ethnic Communes

The American society is presented in Do the Right Thing, as it focuses on the black community (Do the right thing 2001). However, the executive director shows it from the negative perspective, as the movie emphasizes the problems it faces while communicating with other ethnicities.

On the contrary, the Double Happiness, the Chinese family successfully lives in the Canadian society (Double happiness 2001). However, the challenges remain on the family level and focus on meeting the expectations of the Chinese traditional values and the real world. However, in this case, the family does not struggle and live in prosperity.

The occurrence of these portrayals is not surprising, as American and Canadian societies vary in the values. It could be said that Canadian have milder attitudes about the cultural norms that the rest of the world. In this case, Adams and Langstaff imply that Canada is the country, who was able to cherish multiculturalism while other states declare “Global terror?

Must have something to do with multiculturalism” (2007, p. 63). It could be said that this phenomenon is a primary reason for the ethnic group isolation in the United States of America, as the diversity is considered as the main source of all the social and economic issues.

The Tolerability of Interracial Relationships

It is apparent that American and Canadian societies are contrasted. In the movie Do the Right Thing, the intercultural conflict is clear, as nor Mookie nor Sal try to contribute to finding a compromise (Do the right thing 2001). It is apparent that members of the neighborhood do not respect each other and not try to live without tensions.

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As for the Double Happiness, the relationship between different nationalities is dissimilar, as Jade tries to overcome her family traditions and become more international (Double happiness 2001). This situation occurs due to romantic feeling between Jane and Mark. In this instance, different ethnicities can successfully coexist. Nonetheless, in this case, the Chinese cultural values and traditions have to be cherished and respected.

It could be said that this situation occurs due to the differences in cultural attitudes in Canada and the United States of America. It is apparent that Canada appreciate multiculturalism, as the number of foreign-born citizens remains significant (Adams & Langstaff, 2007). It is apparent that the Canadian favorable conditions for the cultivation of different ethnicities were emphasized in the movie, and this feature differentiates Canada from the American diverse but separated society.

Dissimilarities between Assimilation and Multiculturalism

Moreover, it is apparent that both of the movies portray either assimilation or multiculturalism. It is clear that Do the Right Thing displays assimilation, as the family, who was living in America lost the cultural values. In turn, the Double Standards is an example of multiculturalism, as the family was able to save its cultural heritage and traditions (Double Happiness 2001). It could be said that assimilation leads to degradation and loss of diversity.

On the contrary, multiculturalism is considered as a positive aspect since the diversity remains on the high levels of the Canadian society (Adams & Langstaff, 2007). It could be said that encouraging multiculturalism as a primary diversity accumulator is a right strategy, which helps Canada remain one of the leading multicultural and diverse countries in the world with advantageous settings for migration.

American and Canadian Approaches of Maintaining Diversities

It could be seen in the movies that American and Canadian ways of managing ethnicities and diversities are different. In the film Do the Right Thing, it seems the diversity is maintained by dividing the community into the groups. In this case, living in one cultural setting is easier, as the attitudes of the individuals are similar.

As for Canadian approach, the Double Standards still addresses some problems, which might occur in the international community. Nonetheless, existence and acceptance of the various diversities is a part of the unified community. In support of this position, Adams and Langstaff claim that acceptance and close integration between the cultures encourages and raises multiculturalism in Canadian Society (2007).

Moreover, it is clear that the authors present one of the main point of Canadian diversity management by saying “we don’t just have our bad news, we have everyone’s bad news” (Adams & Langstaff, 2007, p. xviii). This attitude differentiates the Canadian approach from the American one.

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It could be said that the comparison of two movies revealed the primary differences in attitudes in America and Canada. It is apparent that emphasis on multiculturalism and high integration with the other members of the society brings Canada on the top of the most desired countries to migrate. Lastly, it is widely known that America is an international community. However, the cultural assimilation vanishes cultural heritage of the small ethnic groups and creates stereotypes about nationalities.


Adams, M., & Langstaff, A. (2007). Unlikely utopia: The surprising triumph of Canadian pluralism. Toronto, Canada: Viking Canada.

Shum, M. (Executive Producer). (2001). Double happiness [DVD]. New York, NJ: Picturehouse.

Spike, L. (Executive Producer). (2001). Do the right thing [DVD]. Los Angeles, CA: Universal Pictures.

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