Crazy Rich Asians
DIRECTOR : Jon M Chu
CAST: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, Kim Jeong
The new romantic comedy drama “Crazy Rich Asians”, Constance Wu portrays Rachel, a young professor teaching in New York. She’s dating Nick Young, portrayed by Henry Golding, an “Heir Apparent” to a very large corporation, in fact one of the largest companies in China (a fun fact that he hadn’t informed his girlfriend about) and he’s very, very rich. Rachel on the other hand grew up with a single mom who worked hard to provide for the both of them. Rachel, the economics professor, very much understands how money works.
Nick invites Rachel to a wedding held by one of his best friends in China and wants to use this as a way for Rachel to meet his extensive, traditional Chinese family. They have been dating for over a year and Nick feels it’s time to introduce Rachel to his very protective mother played by the fantastic Michelle Yeoh. Once Rachel gets to town and before the wedding, she meets up with an old college friend of hers played by “Oceans 8” scene stealer Awkwafina, who once again provides a majority of the laughs here. Ken Jeong plays her eccentric father, and he brings along his usual goofball shtick, and it is welcome.
This is a very sweet, and very decadent looking romantic comedy that sets up it’s goals and knocks them out. The fact that the entire cast is all of Asian descent is a huge step for Hollywood, and that should definitely be acknowledged, but for anyone paying attention to movies at all, especially the Chinese and South Korea film industry, this isn’t something that should be completely out of the box for them. The themes here are very universal.
Another fantastic aspect about this movie was the performances from the cast. They were all good, but Constance Wu was such a surprising delight as Rachel. She does a beautiful job conveying how her character is feeling, even without saying a word. Having not been too familiar with her TV show “Fresh Off The Boat”, she was so impressive. I hope to see her in more movies. Henry Golding as Nick Young was also a surprisingly solid performance, it’s hard to not root for these two lovebirds throughout the movie. The highlight of the entire experience definitely goes to the breath of fresh air character Piek Lin, played by Awkwafina. She’s able to view the situations that are happening on screen and react in a way that the audience would want to. Her timing and jokes are exactly what’s needed as we watch our main characters go through some dramatic situations. The great Michelle Yeoh is solid as per usual, I expect nothing less of her.
When the title says Crazy Rich, it means CRAZY RICH! In like unbelievable amounts of money is on display on screen. It’s like watching an episode of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” but with an Chinese/American fish out of water storyline flowing through it. Another aspect that I found very nice about this movie is that even though the themes of love, family, friendship, and identity are universal, this is a very unapologetic Chinese film. I’ll bet some elements and jokes will strike especially true if you grew up in a Asian household, not unlike the Disney animated movies such as Coco or Moana feeling especially Mexican and Hawaiian respectfully. The prince of the movie sequel director (Step Up 2 &3, G.I. Joe Retaliation, Now You See Me 2) John Chu has definitely reclaimed his name after the abysmal pop culture experimental “movie” Jem and the Holograms.
THE GOOD: This is a very decadent, luxurious, and beautiful looking film with a very sweet and dramatic love story at it’s core. powered by fantastic performances.
THE BAD: some small pacing issues and odd editing choices. It feels like some characters get big introductions and then their story line never gets to shine in the spotlight.
OVERALL: Yeah it’s a chick flick, but a sweet one that’s set in a world not seen too much up on the big screen with this kind of love behind it.
4 out of 5 stars