"Crazy Rich Asians" (2018) - Sam Gall's Movie Review Issue #28 Gem Mint 10.0
Updated: Sep 17, 2020
"Crazy Rich Asians" (2018) directed by John M. Chu
Based on the book by Kevin Kwan
"This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend's family."
You might like this if you like: romance, drama, comedy, romantic comedies, Asian culture (specifically Chinese in this case), Constance Wu, "Fresh Off The Boat" (2015-), Awkwafina, "Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens" (2020-), Michelle Yeoh ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" 2000, "Yes, Madam!" 1985, "Tomorrow Never Dies" 1997), Ken Jeong ("The Hangover" franchise, "Community" 2009-2020, "Knocked Up" 2007), Jimmy O. Yang ("Silicon Valley" 2014-2019), Ronny Chieng (comedian)
Jon M. Chu (left), Ken Jeong (bottom left), Awakafina (first girl left), Constance Wu (middle green), Gemma Chan (right of green, who I can't wait for in "The Eternals" 2021), Michelle Yeoh (bottom right girl) & Henry Golding (far right) in "Crazy Rich Asians" (2018)
This was like the ultimate team-up of my favorite Asian comedians. I recently have been binging “Fresh Off The Boat” (2015-) for the first time and fell in love with Constance Wu and her character Jessica Huang. “Awkafina Is Nora From Queens” (2020-) is another show I plowed through during quarantine and became obsessed with. Awkwafina is an amazing, rare talent of comedy. I can’t compare her to anyone I can think of. And my god, have I been following Michelle Yeoh’s career for as long as I can remember. Given, I do not consider her a “comedy” actress but was equally if not MORE excited to see that she was in the film. She’s living cinematic history at its finest. Keeping up with the greats (almost entirely boys) of the martial arts/kung fu (Chinese) genre since the 1980s. She’s one of the most talented athletes and actors I’ve ever seen and continues to impress me with her diverse roles ever since she’s slowed down on the martial arts films. She’s still makin’ em though! The spin-off story of the “Ip Man” franchise “Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy” (2018) features Michelle Yeoh in her latest kung fu flick!
Michelle Yeoh (left), Henry Golding (middle) & Constance Wu (right) in "Crazy Rich Asians" (2018)
It was beautiful to see so many of my favorite Chinese stars come together on the screen. Watching Constance Wu, whose character on “Fresh Off The Boat” I’m used to being tough and demanding, be cast in a role where she was the one being intimidated and scared by the veteran of being tough; Michelle Yeoh. Throwing Awkwafina into the mix with those two is just a recipe waiting to be eaten that I cannot ignore. The guys in this film were great! I wasn’t familiar with the lead, Henry Golding, but found his charm especially through Constance Wu’s eyes. I can never get enough of Ken Jeong. His role as the doctor in “Knocked Up” (2007) is brilliant. He plays it so well. Ever since then a smile always sneaks up on me whenever he shows up. Serious, crazy, freeing and talented; Ken Jeong is always enjoyable for me to watch. Jimmy O. Yang (Jian Yang on HBO’s "Silicon Valley") is a more recent favorite.. he was the cherry on top of an already deliciously, insane sundae. I just want Jian Yang to narrate my life. Ronny Chieng I had heard some good things about through the Twittersphere and enjoyed very much in the film but had never seen him act before. Specifically heard about him from upcoming star, Simu Liu, of Marvel’s “Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings” (2021) which I cannot wait for. The Asian superhero we deserve. Thank you Stan Lee RIP. Simu Liu was also in an episode of “Awkafina Is Nora From Queens” in the flashback episode Nora’s grandma tells.
Jimmy O. Yang in "Crazy Rich Asians" (2018)
The story was familiar and fresh. I appreciated getting to see how the Asian-American side is seen from the Asian side. It’s been and will be a constant journey for me discovering and learning about my roots. I’m very conscious and always thinking about what the people in Vietnam (I’m Vietnamese) would think of the very Americanized me. A trip I hope to take one day to find out.
The film was really the perfect romantic comedy Asians deserved. They gave us one to put on the shelves with the likes of “When Harry Meets Sally” or “Love Actually”. I don’t think we really had one that hit so internationally big like “Crazy Rich Asians” did. One that I felt COULD be enjoyed by both people who spoke English and people who spoke Mandarin/Cantonese. In the same way “Kill Bill” did for bringing English, Chinese, Japanese and more all into something where we all we able to enjoy. I love when films do that.
Awkwafina in "Crazy Rich Asians" (2018)
In the end, other than the beautiful and EPIC execution of filmmaking FOR A ROM-COM, the actors made the film for me. If it wasn’t for them I don’t think this film would’ve stood out as much to me. It was certainly my hook, even being Asian I wasn’t jumping to see this when it came out... maybe because only white people were recommending it to me? But after discovering all these actors on my own and through their own careers it made this experience all the better.
Constance Wu (left) & Henry Golding (right) in "Crazy Rich Asians" (2018)
I think there should be tons more of these. As many American rom coms there have been.. there should be way more Asian American too. Not just Asian because I know they are big on doing rom coms too they’re just harder to get here in America let alone with English subs or dub but I really appreciated the Asian American aspect, kinda being in the middle of two worlds feeling, representation and use in the film. I know that wasn’t the big theme or plot and that it was the age, old rich family boy falls in love with lower class girl and family doesn’t like it story but regardless I absolutely loved this film. It was the right amount of sweet, funny and Asian I needed tonight.
Written by Sam Gall on 07/26/20
CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0
Looking forward to checking out the book as well. I'm the type of guy who likes to watch the movies first then read the book(s). Sets me up for less disappointment because there's almost always MORE in the book and thats usually what I'm looking for.
“Asian characters deserve a rom-com. Asian characters deserve to be in love! And with each other! If Asian viewers can see themselves portrayed in many different ways on screen, then they can believe that they can be many different things in real life.” - Raffy Ermac Pride.com
“Crazy Rich Asians does end up falling for the same gimmicks we've seen before ... But as a cultural statement, it's a necessary move in the right direction.” - Allen Almachar The MacGuffin
“If this is the future of rom-com, consider me converted. I was so impressed by the overall film and would recommend it to anyone.” - Lucy Buglass Lucy Goes to Hollywood
“The director, Jon M Chu, thankfully, knows his rom-coms. There's Pretty Woman in here. There's Bridget Jones and Ever After, but he's made them new.” - Kevin Maher Times (UK)
Rent $1.99(possibly a current deal)/3.99 or Buy $9.99:
Check out the book(s) the film was based on:
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