Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel gets the Hollywood treatment – and it’s crazy well done.
WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:
KEY CAST MEMBERS: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Ken Jeong, Awkwafina, Lisa Lu, Ronny Chieng, Sonoya Mizuno, Chris Pang, Pierre Png, Jimmy O. Yang, Tan Kheng Hua, Remi Hii and Nico Santos
WRITER(S): Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim (screenplay); Kevin Kwan (novel on which the film is based)
DIRECTOR(S): Jon M. Chu
That’s when she discovers that not only is Peik rich, but Nick’s family is really rich. Like, crazy rich – and Nick’s mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) is “old world” Chinese in both tradition and practice.
SO IS IT GOOD, BAD OR JUST AWFUL? A movie that is essentially a classic love story with modern elements in a setting unfamiliar to many American audiences, Crazy Rich Asians is an entertaining, heartfelt romantic comedy that doesn’t break any new ground as far as romantic comedies go – but breaks plenty in just being a good movie.
Crazy Rich Asians features just about everything you could want in a story: Chemistry between its two leads and supporting characters that, well, save for one or two characters that might seem a like a toned down version of co-star Ken Jeong’s work in The Hangover, are not caricatures of Asians in American eyes. Whereas Wu and Golding (he of British-Malaysian descent) seem like a real couple, Awkafina and Nico Santos – who plays Nick’s fashion and family-conscious cousin Oliver T’Sien – steal every scene they’re in with their good-natured, perfectly timed and well-meaning quips. Likewise, whereas Yeoh plays the role of the seemingly icy family matriarch with a good duality to her like many a Marvel Universe villain – she’s is cautious to never operate at one extreme at any one time – and Gemma Chan plays her role as Nick’s beautiful yet personally suffering in her relationship with her husband Michael (Pierre Png) in a way that feels extremely real (and thus inspiring without going out of her way to be so).
Beautifully shot by director Jon M. Chu as essentially a tourist agency’s dream video postcard for Singapore, the film presents some of the best visuals captured on film this year, acting as the perfect backdrop for the film’s characters to play, love and learn throughout their respective journeys. Throw in a soundtrack that interpolates classic American songs of various genres in native Asian tongues and Crazy Rich Asians is the type of film that will feel revolutionary when in fact it’s simply more evolutionary.
For given how solid the film is, hopefully Crazy Rich Asians marks the evolution of an industry that has long underserved the Asian moviegoing population but at the same time proves a movie like this can entertain anyone.