Crazy Rich Asians Review

Charlotte Ko ’20

     On August 15th, 2018, the movie Crazy Rich Asians, directed by Jon M. Chu, was released. This movie was the first major studio film in 25 years to have an all Asian cast telling an Asian-American story. The movie is told from the point of view of a woman named Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an Asian American economics professor teaching at NYU with her dashing boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding). Nick invites Rachel to Singapore for a wedding, in which Nick is the best man to his childhood best friend Colin Khoo (Chris Pang). This would also be the first time that Nick would introduce Rachel to his family in Singapore. Little does Rachel know, Nick’s family is one of the wealthiest families in all of Singapore. They have built a real estate empire all over Asia, and the rumors surrounding this mysterious Rachel Chu take place even before she sets foot in Singapore. The movie depicts various lavish scenes with the most elegant couture gowns and outlandish parties most could only dream of attending. It is a hilarious and heartwarming romcom filled with drama, betrayal, and love.

     I watched this movie the day it was released this summer in Hong Kong. I had already read the book by Kevin Kwan, and was already head over heels for Nick Young. I had really high standards for what this movie should and could be, considering the fact that I grew up in some of the megarich economic capitals of China, including both Shanghai and Hong Kong. Although I have never been a part of these parties, and my life is far from the ones of these “crazy rich” Asians in the movie, I had a sense of how fast paced and opulent these cities are, and I was giddy to finally see my home portrayed in Hollywood and popular media as more than just some stereotypical martial arts or old Chinese dynasty movie. It was finally time for the world to be blown away with how much this amazing corner of the world had to offer. Needless to say, by the end of this movie, I was an emotional wreck, bawling my eyes out.

     I’m usually not a very emotional movie goer, especially when it comes to romcoms; but this movie finally told a love story of someone who looked like me, that she could be the one to get her happy ending, too. Yes, the scene where Araminta walked down the aisle and it felt like the world had stopped spinning because she was the most beautiful bride, in the most stunning wedding dress I had ever seen before, was in every sense of the word, perfection. However, it was the fact that it was finally time for someone like me to be represented in mainstream media as something other than a stereotype that really made the film stand out. It was a sign that Asian actors weren’t just limited to be the nerdy sidekick, or the unattractive best friend who gave really good advice. It felt liberating, to finally watch a movie and identify with the characters not only by their personalities and their stories, but to also identify myself within the culture portrayed.

     I would recommend this movie to anyone and everyone, because it is a story that deserves to be seen and heard. I do realize it doesn’t capture all of Asia, and it is only one small narrative of a larger, more expansive culture; however, it is still a huge milestone for Asians of any type, to have their story shared by Hollywood, and for others to abandon the stereotypical views of Asia and typecast all Asians, cramming all of us into one box.