One of my last days home this summer I went with my family to see “Crazy Rich Asians,” upon my sister’s request. I had passively seen the commercials for the movie on television and had not been terribly interested in the genre of romantic comedies, so I did not know what to expect from the movie. I had looked up the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, and it did extremely well, so my whole family agreed to go and try it.
The protagonist, Rachel Chu, has been dating a man named Nick Young for a long time. Nick asks Rachel to come with him to Singapore for his childhood friend’s wedding, and Rachel agrees. Almost immediately, the audience realizes that there is something Nick is not telling Rachel: His family is extremely wealthy. This makes Nick a very prominent figure in Singapore, as the general public follow the Young family’s affairs; everything Nick does affects his family name and reputation.
Reputation is a very important value to Nick’s mother, who developed a distaste for Rachel early on in the movie. Thus begins Rachel’s internal battle between loving Nick or accepting that she is not good enough in his family's eyes and breaking up. We are then introduced to Nick’s cousin, Astrid, and her working class husband, whom she hides her expensive purchases from in order to make him feel better about his financial situation. These two stories, as well as the impending wedding, weave around each other nicely as the movie progresses.
This film exceeded all expectations I had for it and revived my faith in romantic movies. The characters were multidimensional, there were multiple storylines that enhanced the plot, the film dropped you right in the action, the story seemingly had no plot holes or confusing exposition and it spoke a lot about a more realistic love story.
The casting was impeccable, with each actor and actress bringing so much depth to their characters. Constance Wu and Henry Golding played the two main characters and delivered each scene flawlessly. They were undoubtedly believable as lovers but were also independent in their decisions and actions. Gemma Chan, who played the kindhearted cousin Astrid, stood out the most for me, as she portrayed her character’s rollercoaster of emotions superbly and made a convincing down-to-earth friend of Rachel.
Visually, this film was packed with high budget locations, and the wedding scene looked like a dream that had sprung to life. The costumes were both extravagant and regal, while maintaining an air of uniqueness that complimented each character wearing them.
This movie is a sight for sore eyes in terms of recent book-to-movie adaptations of romantic novels. Although at times marginally predictable, the film was a breath of fresh air compared to the cliche plots and sappy “I will never love again if I can’t love you” themes of other movies of its kind. It was relieving to see a couple that was not completely dependent on one another for everything and also loved each other just the same.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Calista Giroux is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.