Published: Sun, August 19, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Dora Pope

In ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ mahjong isn’t just a game

In ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ mahjong isn’t just a game

Constance Wu as Rachel in Warner Bros. But his proposal is that they fly back to Singapore for his best friend's wedding and to meet his family. However, a trip reveals that Nick isn't just any handsome, well-off NYC bachelor. Young is the princely heir of the family business, which he has temporarily fled but is still expected to soon takeover. Even Rachel's college friend Peik Lin Goh (played by a scene-stealing Awkwafina) lives in the kind of mega-mansion you'd expect to see on an old episode of MTV's "Cribs".

Director Jon M. Chu's adaptation of Kevin Kwan's novel is an entertaining look at the culture clash that happens when Rachel attempts to fit in with Nick's family.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Soon-To-Be Famous: Much of the hype surrounding Crazy Rich Asians has focused on the unlikelihood of a big-budget Hollywood production being built around an all-Asian cast, directed by an Asian filmmaker (Jon M. Chu), based on a hit novel by an Asian writer (Kevin Kwan), and aimed largely at Asian audiences, who've been served by so many rich global film traditions but far less so in the USA over the years. "But I think this is an important conversation to have, where we can say it's great that there's a Hollywood film with an all-Asian cast that's set in Singapore". Multiple scenes depict the strength and happiness characters derive from spending time with their families, even when the family is eccentric or overbearing. "Have you ever met a white person?" and "Did you have running water?" Gemma Chan, as Nick's placid-surface/roiling-depths cousin Astrid, is exquisite, and Nico Santos makes for an enjoyably dishy Oliver, a cousin from one of the family tree's droopier branches. And Michelle Yeoh is mesmerizing as Nick's quietly formidable mother, Eleanor, who's dead set against letting her son marry someone so apparently unworthy of the Young dynasty. Once there, Rachel has to contend not only with Nick's judgmental mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), but also cultural differences, other women jealous of her position, and her own thoughts that she might not belong in the super-rich society. That doesn't mean she has a hard time cutting anyone in her path down without more than a single glance, though.

Crazy Rich Asians has been receiving rave reviews from critics, many of whom are calling it the finest romantic comedy of the year.

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Still, maybe you're wondering what the movie is about and why it's getting so much buzz. Pictures and a cinematic general release, looking to send a message and put down a marker for Asian-led box office receipts. And despite being 120 minutes, long for a romantic comedy, the film never drags. Everything from Rachel's Chinese-American parentage to her unassuming background makes her a target for the many social climbers of Singapore's elite, and when that extends up to and including certain members of the Young family, the film starts to tangle with fairly heady stuff for a film this hyper-indulgent.

Crazy Rich Asians, which has received rave reviews, opened in the US on Wednesday (15Aug18). I got a contact high.

In both screenings for Crazy Rich Asians and Fresh Off the Boat, she noticed that audiences were crying - "and it's a comedy, you know", she pointed out of her ABC sitcom.

Crazy Rich Asians' attention to detail is well, crazy accurate.

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