Film – Crazy Rich Asians

Film – Crazy Rich Asians


I went to see this film as I thought this film would be funny but the laughs number precisely two. However there are more reasons to watch this Crazy Rich Asians .

It is your standard romcom Cinderella story but with Asians, in the main the Chinese super-rich variety based in Singapore. In this rich boy meets not rich girl (she had to have a single parent, right?) the difference is, she doesn’t know her beloved’s true place in the world for a whole year.

So it took a while to warm to it, despite it having a good opener cutting to Nick Young as a child, who’s family, already wealthy, being turned away from a fancy London hotel by a racist manager. Only for one telephone call later the manager finds that the Young family are now the owners and therefore his (presumably, soon to be ex-) employer.

Now, Nick is living in New York and wants to take his fellow academic girlfriend, New Yorker Rachel to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore which means she will meet his whole extended family for the first time. His mum is far to regal to be a Monster-in-Law, which is a shame as that film has plenty of jokes to counteract the sugary rom-com. I’d love to see Michelle Yeo do a bit of slapstick. Curiously, his father doesn’t seem to surface anywhere despite numerous members of his family playing major part in this whole farce.

Rachel is introduced to Nick’s family’s wealth with zero preparation, first by turning left rather than right on the airplane – a cross between shock and a dream date; ‘But you play basketball in your torn old t-shirt at the YMCA!

From hereon in, this film is about the women. Take away the obviously gratuitous male nakedness (which does not make up for decades of women doing this by the way) it’s the matriarchal grandmother, the steely mum, the jealous, rich socialites, the meddling ex, the philanthropic cousin and refreshingly of all, the best friend. Rachel was brought up in New York and this trip reunites her with her former college roommate, the best character in the film, Peik Lin. She has the finest lines except for the Botox dumpling joke, my only laugh-out-loud moment.

I’m familiar with some Chinese culture but can’t pretend to be super-knowledgeable so was unsure how they will see it. There were laughs coming from other parts of the cinema so clearly some of the in-jokes went over my head.

So it’s mildly entertaining rather than funny but it does have an incredible romantic moment as part of the big beautiful wedding. Coming from someone who does anything to wriggle out of a wedding, that’s a huge compliment, albeit the romantic moment has nothing to do with the bride and groom.

I’m glad this film has been made. It proves an all-Asian cast can have a Hollywood blockbuster and really does showcase the way Asians have/are taking over the world. Even the soundtrack is Asian or brilliantly covered songs sung in Chinese.

Like I say, I warmed to it.

6½/10

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