Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan’s romantic comedy has been delivered to the theaters with all of the glamour and glitz portrayed in the bestselling novel. This film features an all Asian Cast, a rarity, since the last American studio film to feature that was Joy Luck Club 25 years ago. This movie marks the first time Asians are cast as leads in a romantic comedy.
Rachel Chu’s (Constance Wu) journey to meet her boyfriend Nick Young’s (Henry Golding) family could be a bit of a fish out of water tale. Rachel is the daughter of a Chinese single mother who immigrated to America. Being an economics professor at NYU, is pretty prestigious accomplishment and Rachel loves what she does. She has been seeing Nick for over a year. He has his best friend’s wedding in Singapore and suggests that Rachel comes along to meet his friends and family.

Nick is from a well off family, a subject that he had never mentioned before. The first thing that tips her off is the treatment that they receive on the plane. When Rachel finds out that his family is well off, it does not change their relationship. However, she still does not realize how extensive the family finances are and is definitely not aware of the social status of the Youngs.

Singapore in all of its crisp and elegant beauty is a character in itself. We are taken to the many sites on the island as it is shown to Rachel. From the moment the couple arrive, they are met at the airport by Colin Khoo (Chris Pang), Nick’s best friend the groom and Araminta Lee (Sonoya Mizuno) the bride. They are taken to one of the Hawker’s Centre full of stalls, each specializing in a handful of dishes, some with a Michelin Star. We see an incredible smorgasbord in a quick cut of food porn. Nothing in Rachel’s first taste of town indicates the opulence that is to come.

Rachel goes to see Piek Goh(Awkwafina), her roommate during college. The Goh family is “new wealth” and we see the gilded display throughout to the point of excess. We meet Piek’s parents , Neenah (Chieng Mun Koh) and Wye Mun (Ken Jeong, bringing his brand of weird, creepy and awkward as Piek’s dad). The Gohs welcome Rachel with such warmth and treats her like family. This is where she learns how affluent and respected the Young’s are in Singapore. Piek takes it upon herself to provide her best friend with a fabulous suit of armor and education in order to survive the introduction to the world of the Youngs.
Meeting the Youngs is comparable to being introduced to the Royal Family of Singapore and Rachel was not aware of the social graces that are expected in the circles of the crazy rich. You can see that she is not accustomed to the superabundance that she is witnesses and is a little overwhelmed in trying to adapt. As Nick introduces her to his mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), Rachel immediately gleams that his mother does not like her. Thus begins the power play between them. Eleanor doesn’t think that Rachel is an appropriate candidate to be the future Mrs. Young and Rachel wants to be accepted as she is and now feels the need to prove that she is good enough for Nick.

The only member of Nick’s family that Rachel has met is Astrid Young Teo (Gemma Chan) his cousin. If Eleanor is the Queen, then Astrid is the princess. She doesn’t walk, she glides. The societal cognoscenti hold her in high esteem. The women want to have her style and the men want to have her. With all the grace and beauty, she reigns in the land of the crazy rich. Rachel liked her some much that she says Astrid is who she wants to be when she grows up. Those who think that her life golden, is unaware that she has her own problems.

We are introduced to the wedding party and the extensive lavishness of the super rich of Asia. It may seem ridiculous and an exaggeration, but the lifestyle of the crazy rich and Asian is based on reality. As Rachel carefully steps through the social landmines that have appeared, she becomes more confident in her own ability and recognizes the game and how to play it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, I wanted to see it again to catch all the things that I did not soak in from the first viewing. The story has a great balance of comedy and drama with Ken Jeong and Awkwafina gifting us with hilarious one liners and Constance Wu playing the confident woman learning how to find her footing. Henry Golding does exceptionally well on his first ever feature film, playing the man who has found love outside of the world of the Crazy Rich Asians.

This is an excellent romantic comedy that is served on a golden platter. Jon M. Chu has delivered a wonderfully delicious story that deserve to be watched over and over again. If you are a fan of the romantic comedy genre, take the time with this gem of a movie.

5 out of 5