What are the first things that come to mind when you think of Asia? Maybe some noodles? Or big mountains? Not wealthy, pretentious Singaporean royalty who are “richer than God.”
The “Crazy Rich Asians”producers’ paint a picture — with the first all-Asian cast in a blockbuster in more than 25 years — that is more extravagant than anyone could imagine.
The film tells a Cinderella-esque love story between quirky economics professor, Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), and closet Singaporean “prince,” Nick Young (Henry Golding). The couple travel to Nick’s mysterious home in one of the world’s wealthiest cities for the highlight of the Asian social calendar, his best friend’s wedding.
So, of course, like any healthy relationship, Nick has told Rachel absolutely nothing about his family or where he came from. Rachel faces the snobby aunts, the eccentric cousins, and the judgmental mother armed with only her wit and what little she knows about Singapore.
We are flown through Rachel’s and Nick’s journey, with animation that you might recognize from that Disney show you watched when you were seven. I hate to be sexist, but the best word to describe the graphics would have to be girly — not my cup of tea. I know that this isn’t exactly “Dunkirk,” but this kind of rom-com should have a little more professionalism.
Minus the terrible transitions, however, the movie had a solid comedic quality. Everyone knows Ken Jeong, whether it’s from “The Hangover,” or almost any blockbuster comedy. Even as minor character, Goh Wye Mun, he and his stage family bring out some of the more inappropriate (and better) comedy of the film. (And it’s time to learn what a banana actually is).
There were plenty of jokes about the culture, food and people. And of course the leads were amazing and pretty and wonderful to watch. But really, let’s talk about Awkwafina. Hopefully, as some of you know, Awkwafina is an American rapper who is more hysterical than she is musically gifted.
Being Ken Jeong’s stage daughter, I felt like she had to bring her A game, and she brought it — in the form of a 20-something possessed by a drop-out soccer mom. You’ve got to credit Awkwafina for giving life to some of the slower and sappier scenes because of her singular personality.
There were plenty of moments in this movie where you wanted to double over laughing. But the tender moments with the spotlight on an Asian couple were just as crucial to the movie’s success.
Yes this movie has major actors, a well-thought out plot line and offers some real diversity for Hollywood. But honestly if you’re just looking for a good belly laugh, then you should probably go see “Crazy Rich Asians.”