Crazy Rich Asians – Movie Review

August 27, 2018 By Southpoint Tuggeranong

There’s a lot riding on Crazy Rich Asians as it hit US $26.5 million at the box office on its opening weekend. It’s been touted as a milestone for Asian representation on the big screen; indeed, its all-Asian cast is challenging the Hollywood norm.

American-Chinese economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) travels to her boyfriend Nick’s (Henry Golding) hometown of Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. However, in their year together he’s neglected to mention that he’s the son of one of the country’s wealthiest families. Not only that, but he’s considered to be one of Singapore’s most eligible bachelors.

Walking into the lavish lifestyle led by Nick’s extreme extended family and friends, Rachel finds herself with a target on her back. There aren’t many people who are happy with their relationship, least of all Nick’s disapproving mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) who determines that Rachel will never meet her standards. And so Rachel navigates jealous socialites, high society living and a family flouting their wealth.

Many of the supporting cast are one-dimensional and slide into stereotypes, but the core characters are remarkably in-depth and intelligent. American rapper Awkwafina, who landed a role in Ocean’s Eight, offers a dramatically entertaining performance as Rachel’s college friend Peik Lin.

While director Jon M Chu’s film succeeds in its telling of a love story, it only shows one very thin slice of the opulent life in Singapore - the 1% of the 1%, where fast cars, helicopters, private islands and $1.2 million earrings feature easily. And yet, Crazy Rich Asians has the potential to be a game changer in the rom-com genre.

- Laura White

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