What happens after the prince finds his Cinderella? She probably has to impress his family so they can live happily ever after.
Crazy Rich Asians follows Economics Professor Rachel (Constance Wu) who is set to meet her boyfriend Nick’s family in Singapore where they will be attending Nick’s best friend’s wedding. Racheal finds out that Nick (Henry Golding) comes from a very rich family after they travel first class, but she has no idea what she is getting into. Nick’s cold mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) is not impressed by Rachel and goes to extreme ends to show that. Will Rachel give up and walk away? Will Nick have to choose between Rachel and his family?
The plot may seem familiar and for good reason. That being said, the film has a major edge over previous films with similar plots; its cultural aspect. The film features an entirely Asian and Asian-American cast and takes place in Singapore which gives a completely new flavour to the idea of a mother meeting her son’s girlfriend and potential wife. The audience get to see the standards that Rachel has to live up to and how important they are, including how lavishly she dresses, the origins of her family, and how willing she is to sacrifice and compromise.
The film’s cast is also an enormous step in terms of representation in Hollywood, and largely discredits any claims that diversity in casting is not achieved due to lack of talent. Crazy Rich Asians also stands out because it avoids most clichés from the genre of romantic comedies as well as clichés of films with similar plotlines. It takes the audience into a magical world where money is not an issue and lavish is never lavish enough. The setting is extravagant, awe-worthy, and magical,
The main downside of the film is that there were too many supporting actors. While some of these supporting characters did not need further development due to their simplicity, others were just too shallow and underdeveloped.
However, the film had a sub-plot which reflected well on the main plot; Nick’s cousin (Gemma Chan) had a problem with her husband due to the economic difference between them. The plot acted as a reflection to what could happen to Nick and Rachel if they got married, and added extra pressure as well as intrigue.
As for the acting, Constance Wu did an amazing job to keep her character away from the victim role and managed to add dimensionality to an archetypal female role, which has been performed over and over. Henry Golding was a bit below average, especially when it came to facial expressions, but was still very likeable for the love he showed for Rachel. Gemma Chan was one of the standouts of the supporting cast members, with impressive facial expressions and body language. Awkwafina nails the role of Rachel’s college best friend and is one of the biggest sources of laughter in the film.
If you are into romantic comedies, without the clichés, this is definitely for you.