Crazy Rich Asians is one of the most enjoyable movies I have seen in 2018. It’s a fun, funny, exciting, heart-warming movie about culture, family, and the power of love.
Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) is an NYU economics professor, happily dating the seemingly normal Nick Young (Henry Golding). When Nick invites Rachel to Singapore for his best friends wedding, Rachel quickly finds out that Nick is part of a real estate empire and that his family is wildly wealthy. Rachel realizes how big of a deal it is dating Nick, as she is continuously getting judged by everyone she comes in contact with, especially Nick’s mother (Michelle Yeoh). As the visit plays out, Rachel tries to prove that she is right for Nick, while Nick struggles with his love for Rachel and the legacy of his family.
What Crazy Rich Asians does so well is immerse us in this world and this culture. Being a white, American male, everything that I saw in this movie was new to me and it blew me away. From cultural views, to the wealth, to Singapore, to the jaw-dropping wedding sequence that every bride ever will be jealous of, everything had me in awe. The movie makes us feel like Rachel does. It doesn’t waste a ton of time with useless exposition, we are introduced to this crazy rich world within the first fifteen minutes of the movie, blasting us with lavish flights, giant mansions, and stunning clothes. It’s a lot to take in, but it’s a lot for Rachel to take in, too, as neither she, nor us, have seen anything quite like this.
The performances in the movie are uniformly great. Wu and Golding are perfect. From the first time you see them together, you immediately know that they are in love and we become part of their relationship. We want them to be together and want everyone to see Rachel for who she is, which is a girl who simply loves Nick and the girl who Nick loves with every bone in his body. It is lovely to watch and pays off wonderfully at the end. Michelle Yeoh is sensational as Nick’s mother, with her icy glare and uptight personality. And Awkwafina is a scene-stealer as Rachel’s friend from college who always keeps it fun and real with her.
At the end of the day, Crazy Rich Asians is about how strong love is, and that is something movies like this rarely ever show. Nick and Rachel love each other, plain and simple. Nick is willing to risk losing his family for this girl who sees him not as the heir to a fortune, but for the person that he really is. And Rachel doesn’t care about all the money and fancy stuff, she loves Nick, but also loves him enough to know that for she may have to leave him in order for him to keep his family, which is the most important thing to him. It is very easy to over-stuff a romantic comedy with non-sense, but this one just focuses on the love of two people and it grabs your heart and doesn’t let go.
Crazy Rich Asians is the best romantic comedy of the year and arguably one of the best of the decade. It has everything you’d want in a great romantic comedy: charismatic leads, a great “villain”, a crazy best friend, comedy, drama, and a genuine romance that you feel from start to finish. I loved every minute of this movie and you will too.
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