“Crazy Rich Asians,” is a movie that doesn’t fail to deliver its title. Almost every character in the movie has a enormous bank account and is not afraid to show it. The title, as silly as it is, is in fact a statement. For the past 25 years, studios were reluctant in putting money behind movies with casts that are predominantly Asian. “Crazy Rich Asians” is clearly important for minorities, as it is the first major studio movie of the century with an all-Asian cast. This movie is comical, clever, and one of the best romantic-comedies of the decade.
In the beginning of the movie, we are introduced to Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) and Nick Young (Henry Goulding), a young and attractive couple living in New York, where they work as professors in New York University. Things between the two are getting serious, so much so that Young invites Chu to go to Singapore to attend his best friend’s wedding. Chu knows most of Young’s family lives in Singapore, but is unaware of the fact that his family owns most of Singapore. As Chu is introduced to Young’s extended family, she learns that many people don’t want to let the country’s most eligible bachelor go to some American, including Young’s mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh).
Although the movie is centered around Chu’s difficulty in trying to be accepted into Young’s family, what most viewers don’t take into account is Chu’s control of character. Initially the film is jolly and sweet, with jokes that raise a smile if not an out-loud laugh, but gets funnier and more charming as the characters reveal the insecurities beneath their expensive clothes. Chu comes through particularly strong – a woman who is out of her element but quick to adapt. This act manages to make her dismay about dating a secret billionaire genuinely easy to sympathize with.
It is very common in films with so many actors to become jumbled and for characters to feel included just to add another ‘name to the cast,’ but Chu knits them all together perfectly. The supporting cast is full of great stories, particularly Astrid Leong (Gemma Chang), who plays a millionaire with an insecure husband. My favorite character, however, is Peik Lin (Awkwafina) who hilariously states that, “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.”
Amid all the laughter, “Crazy Rich Asians” works in some interesting conversations about the changes in Asian culture, as it has spread around the world. The film is fantastic, and made a lot of real-world points. A sequel is already in the works, and it can’t come soon enough.