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“Crazy Rich Asians” is crazy amazing

The romantic comedy perfectly balances humor, complexity, and swoon-worthy romance

Constance+Wu+and+Henry+Golding+shine+as+star-crossed+lovers+in+the+new+romantic+comedy+%28photo+from+Center+for+Asian+American+Media%29
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“Crazy Rich Asians” is crazy amazing

Constance Wu and Henry Golding shine as star-crossed lovers in the new romantic comedy (photo from Center for Asian American Media)

Constance Wu and Henry Golding shine as star-crossed lovers in the new romantic comedy (photo from Center for Asian American Media)

Constance Wu and Henry Golding shine as star-crossed lovers in the new romantic comedy (photo from Center for Asian American Media)

Constance Wu and Henry Golding shine as star-crossed lovers in the new romantic comedy (photo from Center for Asian American Media)

Alex Mandanas, Managing Editor

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Crazy Rich Asians now is the most successful studio-released romantic comedy of the last nine years and it’s pretty obvious why. The punchy, dazzling film has been rightfully celebrated for both its wonderful story and its strides in Asian representation. But beyond all that, I like it best for reinvigorating the romantic comedy.

The movie follows New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she ventures to Singapore to meet her charming boyfriend’s family. Unbeknownst to Rachel, her boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), is the heir to the Young Corporation, one of the most important and profitable companies in South East Asia, and the golden boy of Singapore. Despite their dreamy relationship, when Rachel is confronted by the disapproving glares of Nick’s mother (Michelle Yeoh) and the complex Chinese filial piety traditions, Nick must choose between his family and the love of his life.

The film is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan, who took inspiration from real life experience to create an accurate portrait of modern upper class Asians. Kwan was born to an affluent Chinese family in Singapore and grew up around the extravagance and attitudes discussed in the film.

Crazy Rich Asians has been praised for its accuracy in its depiction of the flashy, outrageous, often convoluted lives of the uber-rich of Asia, while still nailing the complexities of Chinese family dynamics. The direction (by the marvelous Jon M. Chu) and production perfectly weave these ideas together into a fun, entertaining movie that has the power to make you swoon, laugh, and cry.

The funniest character by far was Rachel’s college roommate, Singapore native Piglen (Awkwafina). Described by her dad as the “Asian Ellen,” she romps around the island in zany outfits offering moral support, comedic relief, and insightful tidbits of advice about the culture of wealth in Singapore.

The best thing about Crazy Rich Asians, at least for my When Harry Met Sally-loving heart, was how it revamped the romantic comedy. In many ways, it was the stereotypical rom com: a man and woman fall in love, face hardships, and (spoiler) get back together in an adorable way at the end. But also, it was so much more than that. It evaluated culture, racism, wealth disparities, and family in a entertaining, romantic, hilarious way that put a romantic comedy back in the box office spotlight.

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