A No-Spoilers Review of “Crazy Rich Asians”

Crazy Rich Asians now has box office revenues of over 165 million

Crazy Rich Asians now has box office revenues of over 165 million

Ian Wallace, Columnist

One of the biggest successes in Hollywood to date is the romantic comedy, Crazy Rich Asians, an adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel, directed by Jon M. Chu.  It is not only a hilarious two hour film, but is also a surprisingly accurate representation of its subjects and a major milestone for ethnic representation in Hollywood.  

First, the synopsis.  Rachael Chu (Constance Wu), an NYU Economics Professor, travels to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to see his family.  Rachel soon discovers that Nick is next in line to run the largest family real-estate business in Singapore. Over the course of the film, the audience discovers a level of wealth unimaginable to the 99.99%.  However, Rachel finds that not all is perfect in the garden city; Rachel must face jealous bachelorettes and Nick’s unapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh).

Singapore Gardens Supertrees, a filming location in Crazy Rich Asians

With hilarious sidekick Goh Peik Lin (Awkwafina), Rachel discovers a world of opulent parties, private island shopping sprees, where the choice is not “Do I take my Private Jet” but “Which one?”  This seemingly fictional lifestyle, according to Director Chu, is closer to fact than you may think. The giant, fake, glowing trees in the movie are real as is the luxurious Changi Airport and the Raffles Hotel Presidential Suite.  The events and locations in Crazy Rich Asians were meant to mirror real life, but also add humor and irony to the movie.  Normally, Goh Peik Lin’s estate would be envied, but in the land of Crazy Rich Asians, it’s minuscule compared to the wealth of the Young Family.

Marian Bay Sands Hotel, a filming location of Crazy Rich Asians

Beyond the realistic locations and crazy rich lifestyles, Crazy Rich Asians is a giant leap in realistic ethnic representation in Hollywood.  Crazy Rich Asians is the first film in the United States since 1993 to have a predominantly Asian cast, after decades of alleged whitewashing (replacing minority characters with white actors) in film and television in the United States.  Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of the Kevin Kwan novel is a true masterpiece, combining monumental progressivism with the crafty humor and emotion of a romantic comedy.