REVIEW: Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians doesn’t officially come out until the weekend of August 15, 2018 but some theaters had an advanced screening a week early.

It’s a rare occasion when we have a majority Asian led cast in a Hollywood production. It’s really nice when those come around. Especially something like this. As someone who is half-Vietnamese, it was great seeing strong and self-reliant characters on the big screen. It was nice seeing a well developed Asian family dynamic. I even thought about my mom’s side of the family a lot and they’re not even Singaporean! This is by far one of the best romantic comedies I have ever seen. You don’t even have to come from an Asian household like I did in order to appreciate this movie. That’s what so great about it. You’ll have a great time regardless.

Kathryn’s rating: 9/10

Crazy Rich Asians is based off of the 2013 best-selling book by Kevin Kwan. It was directed by John M. Chu and stars Fresh Off The Boat‘s Constance Wu as Rachel Chu and newcomer Henry Golding as Nick Young. Rachel is an Economics Professor at NYU. Nick is heir to his family’s business and fortune in Singapore. What’s the catch? Rachel has no idea how rich his family is or what kind of guy he was before he moved to New York. He typically avoids the subject whenever she brings it up, because he loves how normal their relationship is. After a year of dating, he finally decides to bring her home to meet his family and friends when his best friend asks him to be the best man at his wedding. What could possibly go wrong?

Before you go into this movie, please remember that family rankings and roles are still a very prevalent thing in Asian households. Not all Asian-American families will adopt that structure when they come over or if they have been in the States for a long time, but almost all of them do. You treat the matriarch/patriarch with respect when you’re around them. That’s why Nick’s grandmother is such a big deal and why he fought so hard to be her favorite. You listen to them and take their advice, etc. Same things applies to your parents. There are written and unwritten rules and regulations when it comes to social behavior. Things also change between people of different economic status. You’re not often seen as equals, and that’s the fight Rachel has to undergo if she wants to be accepted by Nick’s family.

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One of my favorite things about this movie is that you get to see it from Rachel’s perspective. When I went back to visit family in Vietnam for the first time, they only saw me as an American. You stick out like a sore thumb even if you can speak and understand the language. You’re an easy target. No matter how many times you try to fit in. That’s why Rachel is the perfect lead. She’s determined to prove herself and everybody wrong. Sometimes you don’t have to come from the same background and that’s okay. She’s relatable. Especially for the Asian-Americans that’ll be watching this movie. You are worthy.

So, why are a lot of people talking about this movie? Its success at the box office will help determine the future for more Asian-centric projects in Hollywood. If it seems over the top that’s because it’s supposed to be. It’s about Singapore’s top 1%, after all. Why would it be anything less? The people in my theater laughed, cried, and cheered. I hope you all have that same experience when you go out to see it.

Thank you for this movie, John Chu. As a proud Asian-American, I can’t thank you enough. We’re more than your token Asian friend, and it’s about time roles went beyond the stereotype. Special shout out to the cast and crew. Our theater had a lot of fun.


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