Crazy Rich Asians review

Courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures

With a $30 million dollar budget, director Jon M. Chu turned it into a crazy rich movie, earning a whopping $34 million. Chu also broke the Hollywood norm with an entirely Asian cast showcased in America. In fact, he embraces Asian culture and makes it an important aspect throughout the movie, creating a unique gem in the Hollywood industry. What he created was not just any rom-com, it was groundbreaking.

There are four major sections in a story that a romantic comedy (rom-com) has to execute well (introduction, problem, chase, resolution), and “Crazy Rich Asians” does that magnificently. But out of all the sections, the movie beautifully executes the introduction. Unlike a typical rom-com, Rachel Chu, an economic professor at NYU, and Nick Young, a rich bachelor with great charisma, already have a relationship. There is not much backstory to their relationship, but that is what I loved. The movie quickly develops instead of lingering on the typical “meet up” and “greet up.” Instead, “Crazy Rich Asians” provides small snips of the characters’ lives throughout the movie—but it comes with a price. There were way too many cast members for me to keep track of, and some were irrelevant while others I wished had more screen time.

One of the many features that “Crazy Rich Asians” incorporates is the Chinese culture. The movie does not shy away from China and is not afraid to depict the Americanization of China. It represents a well-done mimicry of the authentic Chinese experience and the Americanized Chinese experience. A big theme throughout the movie is the dissention between authenticity and Americanization.

I really appreciate the small things in movies, especially the camera angles. Many producers do not fully use the potential effect camera angles provide, but one scene stood out to me in the movie. It was a scene where Eleanor Young, Nick Young’s mom, brutally degrades Rachel Chu. The camera angle slowly lowers down as Eleanor completes her whole shaming, making it so that Rachel is physically under Eleanor. The camera angle illustrates Rachel’s subordination and as the camera angle lowers so does Rachel’s spirit. Everything about the angle just makes Eleanor so intimidating, and it truly exemplifies her dominance.

Not only were the camera angles great, but the music and sounds were amazingly integrated into the movie. There was a wedding scene where I started to tear up; weddings are beautiful enough, but a rich wedding with a nature theme is just too much and then add on top of that a live performance from the amazing Kina Grannis, singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” The movie has those songs that pull our heartstrings and those that encourage us to dance. Generally, the music set the tone for many of the scenes. Without it, the scenes like the party with the snazzy music and the wedding with the heartfelt music would be bland.

Overall, “Crazy Rich Asians” is a new hallmark in the rom-com genre. Chu takes the risk of introducing an unconventional standard in the Hollywood industry and turning people’s heads in an unexpected fashion. Never in my life have I felt so proud of my Asian culture after I saw the outstanding representation of Chinese culture and how passionate they embrace it.

The Parkway West Pathfinder gives “Crazy Rich Asians” a 9.25/10.