Thursday, August 16, 2018

Movie Review: "Crazy Rich Asians" (2018)

Director: Jon M. Chu
Year: 2018
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hours, 0 minutes

A college professor accompanies her boyfriend home to Singapore for his best friend's wedding. While there, she meets his family and quickly finds out that they are one of the wealthiest families in the whole country.

michelle yeoh henry golding constance wu crazy rich asians movie 2018
"His parents can't not like me, right?" (Image Source)
Culture, family, and tradition battle it out with love, passion, and individual happiness once again, this time in "Crazy Rich Asians." This romantic comedy is directed by Jon M. Chu, who has helmed other films like "Now You See Me 2" and "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." It is written by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim and is based on the novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan. An economics professor named Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) is asked to accompany her boyfriend of over a year, Nick (Henry Golding), to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. She will also be meeting Nick's family for the first time. Rachel doesn't really know much about Nick's life back at home or what the members of his family do, but she is about to discover that they are rich, like, crazy rich. The Young family are some of the most prominent real estate developers in all of Asia. Upon arriving in Singapore, Rachel is thrust into a lifestyle she isn't familiar with and must fight for approval from Nick's mom Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), who is more concerned about her son taking over the family business and doesn't approve of her son dating an American.
michelle yeoh crazy rich asians movie 2018
"Pursuing your American." (Image Source)
Welcome to the lifestyles of the absurdly rich and famous. When it comes to putting over-the-top opulence on full display, "Crazy Rich Asians" is hard to beat and does so in a lavish, extravagant, and elegant manner. On a 'glitz and glamor porn scale' ranging from 1 to 10, this dials it up to 11, and we sure dug stepping into a world like this for two hours. That being said, underneath the glitter, gold, and jewel-encrusted facade, at its core, this film is a mostly formulaic romantic comedy. It is pretty predictable and uses many tried and true romance tropes, like the disapproving wealthy mother, the boisterous best friend, a make-over montage, and a 'prettiest belle at the ball' Cinderella moment, to further its plot. Heck, if we gave you three guesses as to where the romantic climax of the movie takes place, you wouldn't need more than two.

As far as the romance goes, "Crazy Rich Asians" has tons of it. We absolutely adored both Constance Wu and Henry Golding. The audience falls in love with both Rachel and Nick separately and together, and we want to root for them because they have smoulderingly good chemistry, something most rom-coms severely lack this day and age. Wu is fantastic in this movie. As Rachel, she is a strong, independent, confident, and self-reliant woman who followed her passion no matter what it took. She's everything you want a movie heroine to be. Nick comes from money but has tried to live a life independent of his family's meddling hand. He is handsome, charming, and kind, the fantasy dream prince who is too good to be true, but certainly exists because this is that kind of a story. Henry Golding gives a marvelous performance and has a terrific leading man presence. If we didn't already know it, we wouldn't have guessed this was his acting debut, he's just that smooth. And Michelle Yeoh, good lord, we have no idea why she is so underappreciated! As Eleanor, she commands the screen with a combination of refined, nostalgic elegance and a fierce-but-protective "don't screw with my son" vibe. She has a couple of scenes that took me personally aback as her words cut like a knife on more than one occasion. Yeoh is absolutely brilliant in this movie. Give her more movie opportunities, people!
awkwafina nico santos constance wu crazy rich asians movie 2018
"No one loves free stuff more than rich people." (Image Source)
As for comedy here, I found myself laughing a lot. BigJ laughed a little less than I did, but still an ample amount. Most of the humor comes from Awkwafina as Rachel's old college roommate Peik Lin Goh, and her father Wye Mun Goh, played by Ken Jeong. Awkwafina steals each scene she's in, and we're glad she gets to show off how talented she is in this film. Her signature brand of humor won't be for everyone, but she's definitely growing on us as an actress. We will admit, not all of the laughs come constantly, and when they do, they aren't always huge chuckles, but compared to the other romantic comedies we've gotten in the last few years, "Crazy Rich Asians" is a much-needed breath of fresh air that reinvigorates the rom-com genre.
nico santos constance wu crazy rich asians movie 2018
"You're not our kind of people." (Image Source)
Despite being a very by-the-book story plot-wise, we really liked and very much enjoyed "Crazy Rich Asians." It has some great characters who have wonderful, believable chemistry. The acting is excellent. There is a perfect amount of quippy and snippy dialogue to keep the audience invested. Top it all off with a sumptuous look steeped in culture and love, and you've got one hell of a fun ride!

My Rating: 7.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: ~7.4/10
RT Rating: ~93%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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