When Rachel Chu accompanies her boyfriend Nick to Singapore, she is shocked to discover his family is extremely wealthy. As she navigates the tricky social and familial situations she finds herself in, everyone learns more about what’s really important in life.
IS IT ANY GOOD? (Grade: B+)
While the premise is simple and the storyline predictable, this movie has a lot more going for it than against it. High points of the movie include Awkwafina as Rachel’s old college roommate (she steals every single scene she’s in with her amazing dialogue and comedic timing), Michelle Yeoh as Nick Young’s mother (you’ve seen icy mother’s before, but Yeoh manages to bring the character into a whole other dimension), and Gemma Chan as Nick’s cousin Astrid (who provides the movie’s best and most complete secondary plot involving her marital problems).
It’s clear from the beginning of the movie that this is Rachel Chu’s (Constance Wu) story, and that she will have the most responsibility in carrying the movie, and while she does a great job of stepping forward, the truly great thing about her performance is that she knows when to step back and let her co-stars shine. However, the penultimate scene is a game of Mahjong played by Rachel and Eleanor (Michelle Yoeh), which played with a tension that surprised me. I found myself holding my breath throughout the motions of the game, and want to give a major shout out to Constance Wu and Michelle Yeoh for playing that scene so perfectly. If it had gone wrong, it may have ruined the entire movie.
This movie is important for a lot of reasons (you may have heard that it’s the first American movie in 25 years to feature an all Asian cast), and I’m happy to say that it more than lives up to the hype. Shining through the non-stop onslaught of summer superhero and action movies, Crazy Rich Asians provides a fascinating look into the cultural and familial processes of love in a different culture, and provides a lot of laughs and emotion while doing it.
IS IT OKAY FOR YOUR KIDS?
Crazy Rich Asians is rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and language. Parents should know that there is some kissing and making out by couples in the movie, and there are several scenes where men are shirtless. You should also be aware that, while language isn’t constant, the movie includes several swear words including the f-word, s-word, and a-word. One ethnic slur is used between people of the target ethnicity to give insight to prejudice. Characters also drink alcohol throughout the film.
ANY WORTHWHILE MESSAGES?
Love yourself, stay true to yourself, and address problems with grace and love, instead of anger and hate
Know who else is crazy, rich, and Asian? Jackie Chan! By crazy, we’re referring to his stunts and action scenes of course! Jackie Chan’s First Strike is an excellent showcase for his skills. Rent or buy it here.
Lindsi Neilson currently works for Brigham Young University in the Theatre and Media Arts department, and is a freelance technical director and stage manager for several theatre companies in the Utah Valley area. In her free time she loves photography, stand up paddle-boarding, running 5k’s, reading, spoiling her nieces and nephews, and (you guessed it!) watching movies. For more of Lindsi’s writing visit lindsimichellephotography.blogspot.com.