Synopsis. Crazy Rich Asians is a movie based on the first novel (2013) in a trilogy by Kevin Kwan. Our couple is Rachel Chu (professor at New York University (NYU)) and Nicholas (Nick) Young (professor at NYU). Nick was born in Singapore and is slated to be the best man at his friend’s upcoming wedding. He invites girlfriend Rachel to come with him to Singapore to attend the wedding and meet his family. What Rachel doesn’t know is that Nick’s family is mega rich and an eclectic mix. Nick’s mother Eleanor Young isn’t impressed with Rachel’s lineage and opposes the match. Nick’s cousin the kind and fashion elite Astrid Leong has a similar challenge in her marriage as her husband is an ordinary guy and not from a well socially elite family. Luckily, Rachel’s former Stanford college roomate Goh Peik Lin lives Singapore and offers support to her friend. . Nick mistakenly believes his family and the social circle will approve of Rachel, but things don’t go as expected.
What I Liked about Crazy Rich Asians
Writing. Kevin Kwan’s book was faithfully brought to the screen by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Limwas. Needless to say the script streamlined the book for the movie, but the core of the book is intact. I enjoyed the book so I was ready to like the movie. I was pleasantly surprised that the deviations from the book didn’t detract and many enhanced the movie. If you watch Asian dramas you are well versed with the timeless troupe of a poor girl loving a rich boy much to the dismay of his controlling and disapproving mother.
Leading Lady. Constance Wu portrays Rachel Chu, Nick’s girlfriend. If you don’t like this character, the movie is a bust. Rachel Chu is a independent woman blind sided as she’s thrust into a glittering world of her boyfriend. She handles the negative feedback well until it all piles up. Constance Wu was likable and lovely. I bought her portrayal as she struggled to cope and maintain her confidence. She had good chemistry with all the characters. Rachel is the linchpin of the movie.
Leading Man. Henry Golding portrays wealthy Nick Young, Rachel’s boyfriend. He is kind, considerate, and naively believes his family and social circle will love Rachel as much as he does. He’s shocked when that doesn’t happen and can’t mitigate nor shield Rachel from the negative feedback. Henry Golding was easy on the eyes and clicked with Constance Wu. I wanted this couple to overcome the odds.
What I Did Not Like about Crazy Rich Asians
Lack of Emotional Depth. It is difficult to tap into deep emotional bond in a two hour movie. Staying true to the book, there was a fire hose of eclectic characters. Granted, each added to the story, but the writers could only scratch the surface of all the characters. Our couple and Nick’s mother were the primary characters and had the most nuance and depth, crucial to the success of the movie.
Would I Recommend Crazy Rich Asians?
Yes. I wondered if the movie would capture the essence of the enjoyable book. It did. I walked away entertained and wanting more. There are two other books in the series – China Rich Girlfriend (2015) and Rich People Problems (2017). Will there be sequels?
How strong is the box office Crazy Rich Asians?
Strong. Per this article (link) in it’s second weekend the movie “is looking to win the box office yet again. The movie grossed $7 million on Friday from 3,516 theaters, which puts it on track to score $23-26 million on its second weekend. That’s almost on par with the first weekend, which would mark one of the best holds in the modern era for a romantic comedy…a gross of $25 million would mean a 6 percent drop; if it’s $26 million, that’s only a 2 percent drop. Keep in mind that a 50% drop is standard these days, so this is a remarkable hold and shows that Jon M. Chu’s rom-com has some serious legs.”