Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Crazy Rich Asians
Director: Jon M. Chu
Writer: Peter Chiarelli, Adele Lim
Based on: Kevin Kwan‘s novel
Cast: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Harry Shum Jr., Ken Jeong, Sonoya Mizuno, Chris Pang, Jimmy O. Yang, Ronny Chieng, Remy Hii, Nico Santos
Seen on: 19.8.2018

Rachel (Constance Wu) has been dating Nick (Henry Golding) for a while now and they are really happy. While Rachel is from New York, where they’re both living, Nick is from Singapore – and he has been invited to his best friend’s wedding there. It’s the perfect opportunity to introduce Rachel to his family. Only Nick failed to mention to Rachel that his family is so rich, he is basically considered Asia’s most eligible bachelor. This just adds to Rachel’s generel nervousness about meeting his family and leaving a good impression. Given that she is an outsider among the rich elite, her worries are absolutely justified.

Crazy Rich Asians is the perfect summer RomCom. It has a great cast, charming characters and a sense of humor that make it the perfect light summer fare.

The film poster showing Henry Golding and Constance Wu.

If it wasn’t for the fact that Crazy Rich Asians is about Asian people, the film would be absolute standard stuff. Well-handled standard stuff, but nonetheless filled to the brim with tropes that we’ve all seen before. But it doesn’t matter that much here: on the one hand, well-executed tropes usually know what they’re about and they achieve what they set out to do. On the other hand, they do gain new power when people of color get to do things that are usually limited to white people. In this case it’s as “simple” as being rich and falling in love and getting a happy ending. Even the tritest story profits from being shifted away from white people for once.

The important thing with romances and RomComs is that the characters and their emotions work: you have to be interested in the characters and you have to be able to follow their emotional state. More than that: you have to be able to feel with them. Crazy Rich Asians definitely manages to deliver in that regard, making it the perfect material if you’re in the mood for an uplifting tug on your heartstrings.

Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding and Constance Wu in the film.

The cast is absolutely fantastic (Gemma Chan! Constance Wu! Michelle Yeoh! my heart!); the film looks great – from the city itself (I really want to go to Singapore now. Who’ll fund me?) to the costumes to the lighting and the cinematography; and the soundtrack – consisting mainly of Chinese covers of American songs – hits just the right mix to represent the film. Plus, it’s really nice to listen to.

All of this makes the film an incredibly sleek affair, a fun, entertaining, emotional film that will hopefully see a sequel. I’ll be there to watch it.

Gemma Chan and Pierre Png in the film.

Summarizing: very enjoyable.

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