By Ché Zuro
Constance Wu and Henry Golding in Crazy Rich Asians
Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture - © 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Crazy Rich Asians was a huge surprise, sparking joy, sadness and incredible laughter all of the way through.
At first I worried that this film would be cliché and potentially racist, but, as the film progressed, I found (emotionally) rich characters, wonderful relationships and real life situations that everyone can relate to. The over the top (financial) richness, is something that most people cannot relate to, but the film allows you to join in the fun of shopping, travel, and being able to buy anything you want, except for true love.
With an almost 100% Asian cast (and crew,) and based on the 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan, this is the basic boy-meets-girl-takes-her-home-and- receives-the-wrath-of-said-boy's-mother tale. With Constance Wu and Henry Golding playing lead characters Rachel Chu and Nick Young, we see a believable relationship that is headed for potential destruction, not due to their lack of love for each other, but because of outside hits that come their way. With parents, grandparents, siblings, college friends and more, all adding their opinion about what this young couple should do, it can tear a person up and make one realize that pure perseverance is what makes a happy ending even possible.
Rachel and Nick, together for a year, leave the states for Nick's close friends' wedding in Singapore, where his family resides, and Chinese-American Rachel discovers her first clue that Nick is not as "middle class" as she thought. They are flying first class, in their own compartment, Nick explains, "A perk of my family who does business with the airline." But there is more to come.
Glitz, glamour, and women who are hoping to marry Nick are always surrounding the couple. Over-the-top parties, and the antics of the richest of the rich antics prove too much for Rachel, who is used to her meager beginnings and her normal middle-class life in the big city. Even though she is a professor, she cannot compete with the super rich who are willing and able to do the most outrageous things, such as pay $40 million for a wedding, or renting an island for a party, spending the kind of cash that most people can only dream of!
Enter Nick's mother.
Nick's mother, sensing that he is very serious about Rachel, does not approve of his choice of woman and proceeds to warn him of the possibility of "losing all of this," referring to the family fortune. She decides that she wants him to stay in Singapore and take over the family business, and marry someone within his own class. And there are MANY of those beautiful, high class, rich women all over the place, in Singapore, just waiting for him. Of course, Nick is not interested. Ignoring everything his Mother is saying, Nick's grandmother is brought in, who also tries to convince him that Rachel is not the right woman for him.
This almost sounds like it is not a comedy, and it was so intense at times that you could find yourself in tears one moment and then giggling uncontrollably by the next scene.
One MUST have a box of tissues next to them, for sad tears and crazy funny tears, and enjoy this fantastically lovely film about relationships and how one has to fight for true love!