In “Crazy Rich Asians”, Constance Wu plays Rachel Chu, a young woman who has fallen in love with the famous Nick Young (Henry Golding). Young’s family in Singapore is, as the title suggests, rich beyond belief. Nick and Rachel travel to Singapore for a family wedding where Rachel, unaware of the wealth she is getting into, meets Nick’s entire family, some of which aren’t too welcoming of her presence. Many members of Nick’s family see Rachel as a gold digger, and it’s up to her to gain the respect of Nick’s intimidating and disapproving mother, Eleanor Young, played by Michelle Yeoh.
“Crazy Rich Asians” has a promising ensemble cast and many of the performers in this film are new, although there are some familiar faces, such as Ken Jeong (“The Hangover”) and Ronny Chieng (“The Daily Show”). The lead cast however, consists mostly of new actors and promising ones as that. The abundance of characters is impressive, but the screenplay still seems to be disengaging. The film has a lot going for it, and it starts to show its hidden talents towards the end. The first half of the film however, seems to go nowhere and has no purpose but to show rich people being ritzy and stuck up. There is little plot or character development for quite some time. The interesting part of the story doesn’t really kick in for a while, and when it does, it’s still not as unique or original as hoped.
From start to finish, “Crazy Rich Asians” is full of romcom stereotypes including, men with their shirts off, a disapproving parent, multiple proposals, cheesy humor, and romance on an airplane. The film may be enjoyable for some, but for those sick of the same romcom themes occurring over and over, “Crazy Rich Asians” isn’t going to be much help. Its got plenty of heart and humor for sure but isn’t as emotionally engaging as other similar films are, such as “Love, Actually” or “When Harry Met Sally”. It’s missing the flare that makes certain romcoms so loveable.
Plenty of the humor in “Crazy Rich Asians” falls flat as there are plenty of eyerolling jokes and gags that seem ridiculously out of place. There are funny moments here and there, but from a comedy standpoint “Crazy Rich Asians” doesn’t fulfill the need. The humor is one of the main reasons why moviegoers venture out to the theaters for the romcom genre and its absence in this film is a bigger hole than expected.
This new romcom has its moments and there some elements of the movie that can be very enjoyable. The only issue is that it doesn’t seem to stay that way. The inconsistencies make the film much less enjoyable than it could have been, which makes for an average and second-rate film. There are meaningful moments spread throughout the film about how money can distort the idea of what relationships should be like. Unfortunately, that message is overtaken by romcom stereotypes and disappointing humor.
That isn’t to say that “Crazy Rich Asians” isn’t an achievement as it’s the first film to star an entirely Asian cast. Its representation of Asian actors and actresses is extremely pivotal for the progression of diversity in film. Films like this open up more opportunities for certain races that have not been properly represented through film. There is still a long way to go for more diversity, but “Crazy Rich Asians” is an enormous step in the right direction.
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and language