Crazy Rich Asians: Constance Wu and company create the Rom-com that needs to be seen.
Crazy Rich Asians blends cultural ties with an excellent comedic cast to create the rom-com everyone needs to see.
The film, based off of the acclaimed novel, follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), a Chinese-American woman, as she accompanies her boyfriend Nick (Henry Golding) to their friend’s wedding in Singapore. Rachel has never met Nick’s family and surprised to find out that his family is actually one of the most wealthy families’ in Asia. Being a fish out of water as many don’t see Rachel as truly Chinese, she must now prove to Nick’s mother (Michelle Yeoh) that she is worth Nick’s love.
Now this may come off as another typical Rom-com, but Crazy Rich Asians completely revitalizes the genre thanks to the film’s incredible style. It’s extremely colorful and eye-catching and the jokes feel much more organic than forced. There’s beautiful set pieces throughout the film and each has very specified colors that are meant to capture the attention of the audience and look at a different aspect of the culture.
The film’s score is awesome to hear and paces the film perfectly. The jazz-styled score really pumps up each scene and makes the film an upbeat joyride. It was also pretty cool to hear some Chinese renditions of popular American songs.
Wu and the rest of the cast are honestly perfect together and create both endearing and hilarious moments. Wu and Golding have excellent romantic chemistry and it’s hard not to crack a smile seeing how much they care for one another. Everyone else creates genuine comedic gold and riff offs one another with ease. This especially rings true for Awkwafina as I found her to be great throughout the film. It’s a performance that is without a doubt a highlight of her career.
Without a doubt, this cast needs to be a part of more movies as they bring an incredibly vivacious and fun energy to the big screen. Their chemistry is undeniably great and they make the film a totally enjoyable watch that audiences need.
The film also touches on some interesting cultural topics that aren’t often seen in the genre or much at all. Topics like being a cultural outsider, being whitewashed/Americanized, and even a bit of women’s empowerment are thrown in to make a worthwhile story. It touches on similar Rom-com beats as well, but still finds a way to not lean on them too heavily.
The only few issues I encountered was that the other main plot thread with Nick’s sister, Astrid, had very little impact for me on the film. It felt like more of a distraction from Rachel’s story and it can feel much more like filler than important plot. Also characters, like Nick and Astrid, have British accents that feel a little too distractingly different from the rest of their family. Don’t get me wrong, I understood why they have them and it makes sense, but it was just a distracting quality that felt odd.
Overall, Crazy Rich Asians is the kind of movie audiences need to go see. It has something that more Rom-com’s need: style. It uses it Asian cultural touchstones, amazing cast, and upbeat score to not only save the genre, but push it into a brave new world.