Crazy Rich Asians
Synopsis: A contemporary romantic comedy that follows NYU professor, Rachel Chu, who visits Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young, to attend his best friend’s wedding and to meet his family.
A Monumental Occasion
I only saw a trailer for Crazy Rich Asians once, but I knew I was going to see this movie! The vibrant trailer caught my eye immediately. Plus, It has been sooooo long since I’ve been excited to see a romantic comedy starring an Asian cast. I have NEVER seen a romantic comedy with a majority Asian cast. Fun Fact: It has been 25 years to be exact since we have seen a major motion picture with a majority Asian cast. After Crazy Rich Asians, I am definitely looking forward to the sequels. I hope they expand the representation of the Southeast Asian population.
Change I Can Accept
Like any adaptation, literary license is taken with the story. It is impossible to capture everything from a 500-page book into a 2-hour movie. Crazy Rich Asians definitely took advantage of that license, especially when it came to the ending. Anyone who has read the book knows this story does not end in typical rom-com fashion that. Since I am a fan of romantic comedies, this change to the end didn’t surprise me. It also didn’t upset me based on other changes differences from the book, like the dumplings and mah-jongg scenes.
I might be alone on this island, but I didn’t like Ronny Chieng as Eddie Cheng. Now, I absolutely love Ronny Chieng. He is adorable and funny, but I imagined Eddie as older, rougher, and more tyrannical. I was also slightly disappointed with Astrid’s simplified storyline. It would be difficult to weave her story into the movie’s limited run time, but the richness of the Astrid I loved in the book was missing from the movie. I hope they bring more of that into the sequels!
That’s Not What Happened!
For all the beauty the movie brought us, there were a few missteps. My first side eye was the movie’s interpretation of the Goh Family. They represent “new money,” so they are more ostentatious with their wealth, but they felt like caricatures. I love me some Ken Jeong, but I could have used less Jeong-iness. I also hated Mr. Goh’s interactions with Peik Lin. In Crazy Rich Asians, Mr. Goh was proud of Peik Lin and her accomplishments. She was the most qualified of his children to take over his business. The movie missed a major opportunity with this storyline.
Speaking of Peik Lin, I was also not a fan. In the book, she is Rachel’s college friend with the most effervescent personality. In the movie, she was transformed into the quirky sidekick channeling her inner sassy black girl. It didn’t make me like the movie any less, but it was annoying. The movie’s version of Michael Teo also left me a little salty. The book’s take on Michael’s affair and his relationship with Astrid and her family was smart and nuanced. The movie took the lazy route when handling it.
Despite my nitpicking, the movie exceeded my expectations in many aspects. I got a beautiful and diverse love story, and I got to see a place I’ve wanted to visit for years. If Singapore isn’t experiencing a tourism boom at the moment, then they will soon because of this movie. Crazy Rich Asians is the must-see movie based on the must-read book. The adaptation was mostly sweet, but there were some changes from the book that kept it from getting top scores. Rating: Kettle Korn