Thanks to ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, the rom com is back…as playful, silly and eye-candy-infused as ever.
Director Jon M. Chu is a veteran of music videos and dance movies – and oh, does it show. Depth? We don’t get a lot of that ’round here. Entertaining? True dat. ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ isn’t really a brilliant film, but it IS brilliantly quirky….and for this sort of fare, that’s not only the most important prerequisite to come armed with, it’s pretty much the ONLY one you need.
Constance Wu plays Rachel, an NYU economist, raised by in the U.S. by a Chinese-immigrant single mom. She has no clue that her boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding) is the heir to one of Singapore’s richest families. Then she accompanies him on a trip home – and the silver spoon is out of the bag.
Those unfamiliar with the popular novel on which this film is based might have a bit of a bumpy ride initially – ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a wee more eclectic than your average Cinderella satire – but any kind of adjustment is brief, thanks largely to the comic presence of scene-stealer Awkwafina, Rachel’s brash pal from her undergraduate days, Ken Jeong, doing the outrageous Ken Jeong ‘thing’, and Nick Santos, who plays Nick’s cousin from the ‘rainbow branch’ of the family.
It’s not often that actors of Asian descent play substantial roles in American films; ‘Joy Luck Club’, released back in 1993, was the last one I can think of that rolled the dice on the concept. The gamble paid off then, and it pays off big time now.