Review: Crazy Rich Asians
Romcoms have a bit of a bad rap. We tend to think of them as light, disposable and a little silly. In Crazy Rich Asians, you’ll find all of the traditional trappings of the genre — from the zany best friend and makeover montage to a grand romantic gesture at the climax. The narrative is built on a tried-and-true trope: meeting the in-laws. The film is unabashedly a romcom, but it’s a reminder of just how engaging the genre can be. Director Jon M. Chu delivers a sumptuous experience, transporting viewers to a vibrant world while also crafting a story that’s big on heart.
Based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel, the story follows Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an Asian-American professor, who accompanies her boyfriend, Nick (Henry Golding), to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. Once there, she is shocked to learn he is actually the scion of one of Asia’s wealthiest families. The setting among the Singaporean elite allows the film to revel in the finer things. From the fashion to the food, everything is designed to dazzle. But beyond the spectacle, the film is grounded in genuine, fully realized characters. The ensemble cast is delightful, and Wu is a ridiculously likable lead.
Crazy Rich Asians creates a world that is fun to visit, but more importantly, it’s one populated with characters you want to spend time with. And as the first Hollywood film with both an Asian cast and director in 25 years, it’s a major step forward in representation. Not bad for a romcom.
Should you see it? Yes, it’s a crazy good time. —S.W.