Crazy Rich Asians is one of the the Asian-led romantic comedy topping box offices in the USA in 2018.
With a huge cast of veteran actors and newcomers alike, Crazy Rich Asians has been lauded as a first important step in representation on screen.
Gallant Nick Young (British-Malaysian TV host Henry Golding) and NYU Economics Professor, Rachel Chu (“Fresh Off the Boat’s” Constance Wu), are two lovebirds setting out to meet his family in the thriving city-state of Singapore on the occasion of his best friend Colin’s (Australia’s Chris Pang) wedding.
Crazy Rich Asians has focused on the unlikelihood of a big-budget Hollywood production being built around an all-Asian cast, directed by an Asian filmmaker (Jon M. Chu), based on a hit novel by an Asian writer (Kevin Kwan), and aimed largely at Asian audiences, who’ve been served by so many rich global film traditions but far less so in the U.S. over the years. It won’t be long, however, until the story becomes one of how many stars wind up emerging from this film. For one, Wu has been doing solid work for some time now, but here she delivers the kind of radiant, charismatic turn that creates movie stars overnight. Rachel is very much an audience proxy for Chu’s foray into Singapore’s luxurious day and nightlife scenes, and her wonder is quickly replaced by the terror of being thrust into a situation she was left completely unprepared to handle. A lot is asked of Wu throughout the film, and she responds with the kind of genuine magnetism that can’t be feigned by a lesser performer.
“Crazy Rich Asians” gives us a smooth, polished take on Cinderella in a context looking at cultural clashes that reach beyond ethnic similarities. Rachel, a first-generation Chinese-American, speaks Cantonese as well as anyone in Nick’s family, and most of the all-Asian cast speaks a plummy Queen’s English from their days in elite British boarding schools.
But the film’s strongest selling point isn’t that, or its dressed-to-kill costuming or its use of chic locations and appetite-exciting food porn. Its benefit is filtering all those elements through an old Capulets-and-Montagues story line and creating a deft, intelligent charmer as irresistibly fizzy as the champagne its characters quaff round-the-clock. It gives romance the royal treatment.
I need to get the novel and find out how does it go…