'Crazy Rich Asians' review: This year's 'Big Sick'

Crazy Rich Asians

If they made a movie about me, I'm pretty sure it would be called Dumb, Broke Brandon.

Meeting your significant other’s parents is never easy.

Hopefully, it goes well and you find that your girlfriend/boyfriend’s family is super welcoming and you find yourself wondering why you were even worried about it in the first place. Or, maybe it doesn’t go so well and you’re then forced to find a way to deal with that.

That feeling of dread or anxiety is something we all have experienced though, at one point or another, as it’s all but natural.

The good news is that your first interaction with said parents probably went a lot better than Rachel Chu’s did, as seen in Crazy Rich Asians.

Based off of a book which is based off a true story (take that for what you will), Crazy Rich Asians is a new movie that’s destined to be a sleeper hit of the summer, similar to what The Big Sick did last year (a movie that I just ordered on Blu-ray, because, yes, I still buy Blu-rays).

Crazy Rich Asians
credit: YouTube

Rachel Chu (Constance Wu, who is gorgeous in this film) has lived in New York for nearly all her life. She’s never had any desire to really settle down anywhere else, as she wants to stay close to her single mother, Kerry (Kheng Hua Tan).

About a year ago, she started dating Nick (Henry Golding).

Nick grew up in Singapore, coming to the United States just a few years ago because he wanted to break away from his family and find himself.

Now that things are getting serious with Rachel, though, he’s ready to return home so that he can introduce his girlfriend — who could very soon become his fiancée — to his parents.  Rachel agrees to come with him, having no clue what she’s actually getting herself in for.

That’s because Nick isn’t just any old schmuck nobody has ever heard of. His family is one of the richest families — like to the point where they’re obnoxiously rich and will buy entire hotel chains just for the sake of petty revenge — in the entire country.

Crazy Rich Asians
credit: YouTube

If we’re going just by the events of the movie, I think it’d be fair to say that they’re actually one of the richest families in the entire world. That’s where I’m drawing the line on the whole ‘based on a true story’ element though because the wealth in this movie seems pretty heavily exaggerated.

Rachel knew none of this before the plane ride over, which really kind of unintentionally paints Nick in a pretty negative light. I understand that’d be an awkward conversation to have, but the two have been dating for an entire YEAR. Hiding something like that for that long and then forcing your girlfriend to deal with the outcome without even giving her a heads up kind of makes you an a-hole.

I digress, as the money isn’t the actual source of conflict in Crazy Rich Asians — it’s Nick’s mom.

Crazy Rich Asians
credit: YouTube

Eleanor Sung-Young (Michelle Yeoh) doesn’t even have to see Rachel to know that she doesn’t approve of her. Given their social status, the only acceptable bride she’ll accept for Nick is someone of royal blood. That way, he’ll move back to Singapore and stay with the family — he’s had his fun running amok in the United States, but it’s time to come home.

Nick, once again, is pretty absent through all of this (again, I understand it’d be awkward and he sometimes tries to make his voice heard, but still….do SOMETHING man), so it’s up for Rachel to prove that she belongs in this family.

As you might imagine, that doesn’t go too well.

Not in an absurd, Adam Sandler kind of way, where Rachel and Eleanor are paired together through some kind of crazy family-outing or anything like that, thank God. All the drama in Crazy Rich Asians arises and plays out naturally, allowing for some emotional and sweet moments that are guaranteed to tug on your heartstrings (I teared up on two separate occasions).

Crazy Rich Asians
credit: YouTube

More commendable than all of that, though, is the talent. This is one of the first Hollywood movies ever made to feature a cast that’s almost entirely Asian, which is a huge step forward. As I say every time a situation like this arises, this is something that should have happened a long time ago and I look forward to the day when this becomes a normal thing in the industry that doesn’t have to draw so much attention to itself, but it’s something that desperately needed to happen and should be recognized.

The cast all does a pretty incredible job, too, as Constance Wu is a star in the making (I guarantee you we’re about to see her in a lot more movies after this). While I really didn’t care for the way his character was written, Henry Golding is good in the movie as well as the two have enough chemistry and charisma to make their relationship believable.

Awkwafina of Ocean’s 8 shows up as the comic relief character. While she could sometimes become just a little over-bearing (all the jokes surrounding her family and, more specifically, Ken Jeong as her father fell flat for me), she’s given some great material to work with and has a lot of really funny punchlines.

Crazy Rich Asians
credit: YouTube

Crazy Rich Asians might not be an Oscar front-runner or anything like that, but it’s an important movie that definitely needs to be sought out. It’s a bit too long and isn’t necessarily as funny as it might think it is, but there’s a lot of great stuff in here. This is a celebration of Asian culture, as everything from the food to the clothes is crafted in a way that’s meant to honor eastern customs. I’m assuming, at least. I’m a white male who has never been to Asia before, so definitely don’t take my word on that and, instead, go seek out Asian film critics and their views to find further insight on this matter.

From my experience, though, Crazy Rich Asians was a really sweet and feel-good movie that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Watch the trailer for Crazy Rich Asians here and then let us know, in the comments below, what you thought of the movie!

'Crazy Rich Asians' review: This year's 'Big Sick'
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Brandon Schreur

The fella over there with the hella good hair. Movies and TV are my jam, and the fact that I get to write about them on a regular basis is the bees knees.

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