Crazy Rich Asians

I thought you people watched movies? No thread? Or is it cleverly mis-titled somehow?

Anyway I thought it was a delightful movie, loved the opulence and the friend from college and her family. Although the mothers really were the only characters who I felt interested in and sympathetic to, at the end I felt both women might have been very similar before their choice in husband changed their lives forever in separate ways. The whole cast was also at least amusing in turns.

Finally the pacing was good, notable because its been a while since a movie didnt drag for me, this one felt just right with almost zero filler.

Really well done. imho, worth seeing if you havent yet.

I, unfortunately, thought it was one of the worst movies I’ve seen this year. And I say that as probably one of the most romantic comedy tolerable dudes around here. As I was watching it I was debating in my head whether I would even call this a movie. It’s really a Singapore travel video, plus some MTV Cribs wealth porn. And really poorly structured. It kept moving, but I didn’t feel like anything connected together. It just felt like things kept happening, whether they involved characters we cared about or not.

It did have some fleeting moments of emotional weight in the second half, but I thought it was still in the realm of bad “chick flick” drama. Maybe one of my problems was that I mentally put a comma after Crazy, so I was expecting Asians that were not only rich, but CRAZY! Turns out it’s just a movie about rich Asians. I also didn’t really find it to be a comedy. Just puerile fantasy.

All that said, Awkwafina is pretty awesome. I hope she gets a good movie some day.

I hope I don’t end up being the only other person who saw it, because it does seem to be a hit, and I’d like to hear where others landed. It’s certainly the most memorable of the bad movies I’ve seen this year, so I’ll give it that.

Oh yeah, it’s got Ken Jeong in it, so Tom should probably see it. I guess there’s also some Michelle Something lady in it too…

–Chris Webb

I’m seeing this tomorrow, a group of 9. We’re pretty excited.

I got dragged to this by my girlfriend. I enjoyed it enough, and would probably fall somewhere in the middle of these two opinions.

Things I liked:
-It’s nice to see a big Hollywood movie like this that showcases Asian culture and actors. Good cast in general.
-Some beautifully shot scenes (the wedding!)
-I very much enjoyed the music.
-It was generally a fun ride even as someone who avoids romcoms if at all possible. Movie didn’t really drag, as mentioned above.

Things I didn’t like:
-The male lead. Boring character and actor.
-The ending. I would have much preferred if it ended with the scene where the lead character tells the guy’s mother that she blew it. Instead we get this lame tacked-on happy ending for the sake of having a good ending (and for the sake of making it into a series).
-Too many characters that come and go without any real significance. The plot was a bit busier than it needed to be with side dramas.

Please post thoughts! There was an adorable group of ladies after yesterdays movie taking selfies of themselves after the movie because they enjoyed it so much.

@crispywebb I respect that! Yeah Ken Jeong was pretty great although for me as I mentioned Michelle Yeoh kind of stole the show for me aside from when Tan Kheng Hua was in it of course.

Spoilered some stuff for Nesrie

@delirium According to my wife, the male lead , Henry Golding, is hot af. I kind of liked him, he had flaws but his arc in the movie was really to retain the man he became living abroad. I really liked the ending!

I am ambivalent about the lead actress. I cant figure out of she is a generous actor or one that wilts when the sole focus if that makes sense? I think the former but in a few scenes about her she kind of cedes to her fellow actors. Again not sure if kind of just her style.

My only real downside is the title, which makes me uncomfortable saying it, I dont feel I have the warrant if that makes sense. Happily this seems to be my hangup alone, so maybe I am just oversensitive.

It’s a varied group too which includes one guy and a number of ladies from my game nights which includes a native Hawaiian who is also Filipino. She’s taking her young daughter, and my mom is coming because, well I like to keep her out doing stuff, so we’ll have quite the range of feedback…

It is a romantic comedy, so I am going to go to the movie with that as my base. I do watch Fresh off the Boat so I have reason to believe the comedy may work for me too… we’ll see!

I hope so! I went with my wife & daughter we had a blast!

Woo! That’s my old friend Vanja Cernjul who did the cinematography. He’s so thrilled about the great reaction the movie is getting.

I’m looking forward to seeing this but I doubt I’ll catch it in the theater.

Despite being Asian American and growing up in Singapore, I haven’t seen this. Or maybe “in spite of” should be “because”. Ever since I first saw the books in a bookstore, I’ve been very ambivalent about the Singapore that I know vs. the Singapore that would be presented in that sort of novel. I have met some of the super-rich of the kind described in this title, and I’m not too keen on reading a whole book about them. One commenter noted that this movie has as much to do with living in Singapore as Gossip Girl does with living in NYC.

I think it’s a little weird how much people are presenting this as a win for representation. People are all “this is the first all Asian principal cast in a Hollywood movie in 25 years, since the Joy Luck Club! It’s changing everything!” Lets see how many of these kinds of movies we get in the next 25 years, and I’ll get back to you.

Hm. I wonder how well the American press will be able to handle talking about an all Asian cast? I’m sure they’ll be very sensitive with their use of language and avoid stereotypic-


Yeah the press is kind of weird. Aside from the title, which again I really dont like, I didnt see how this was a Chinese/American movie any more than Nottinghill was an Anglo/American movie. Sure it is celebrating a place and thats cool but the focus is elsewhere. For me it was just a great glamorous love story in the foreground with a stronger second plotline of two women who made choices for their children and how it changed their lives in the background.

We have friends in Singapore who visited us recently, they loved the movie but of course it only shows the positives, much like Nottinghill does not show the ugly side of London.

Did you ever see Eat Man Drink Woman? I know it wasn’t hollywood, but it was very popular and received a lot of accolades. I loved it. The hollywoodized version that came out 7 years later in 2001, “Tortilla Soup” was also very good.

Yeah, Eat Drink Man Woman is a great movie. Unsurprisingly, since it was directed by Ang Lee. Similarly, The Wedding Banquet.

I was as much a fan of the “Starring John Cho” meme as anybody, but Asian representation in film and television is a tricky topic, because even if Hollywood isn’t producing Asian-led films, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, Korea, and Japan all have their own mature and healthy film industries for domestic consumption, many of which are available in translation. Anime and Manga are wildly popular with the youths, and they’re very distinctly Japanese cultural products, even if that isn’t quite the same thing as humans on screen.

But, the Asian American experience is not the same as the Asian experience, and so Asian representation is not the same as Asian American representation. Both Fresh Off The Boat and Crazy Rich Asians (the film, at least, perhaps less so the book) are distinctly Asian American, which has its merits for sure, but the distinction should probably be more broadly recognized.

I think that, to a degree, this is part of the point. It’s not a period piece or a Wire-Fu. It’s a story about more or less regular people doing regular people things.

But, I think it falls down pretty hard there. It does still use Asian-ness as it’s defining feature. It’s actors are first of all Chinese, and everything else second.

It’s the problem that I personally have with Fresh Off the Boat. That’s a show about Asian-ness. You aren’t allowed to forget that the characters are Chinese. While celebrating diversity has its place, it has a kind of laughing at rather than laughing with that I dont feel entirely comfortable with. (I know that it engages with that directly, e.g. the title of the show, but I don’t love it).

Shows like Crazy Ex Girlfriend, or the Good Place, more or less simply allow characters to have ethnicity without making it about their ethnicity. Which is my personal preferred model. This is part of what distinguishes Asian cinema from Asian American cinema. Assimilation is part of the core of the Asian-American experience, and it would be a disservice not to address it, but at the same time, there’s something to be said for telling a story where you can just take for granted that everybody on screen is Chinese, and not have to make a point of it. Kind of a ethnic Bechdel test situation.

Good point. Yeah it treads that line. Although like I say maybe its just because I am an immigrant myself but I found lines like “Chinese boys are like that, all think their mum’s are perfect.” just the same as things in Hugh Grant movies where some reference to Englishness is made (like over politeness or being rude very passively aggressively), its a reinforcement of the culture but also a little nod to those outside who want some context.

For me though 90% (a number i just made up) of the lines and scenes in the movie could just as easily have been about people in any affluent urban society really.

tbh I found it less ethnically narrow, as it were, than The Godfather.

I was going to take my mom to see this, who has been reading/watching nothing but praise for this movie in Chinese papers and shows. Until she learned that it was actually in English, then lost all interest until it gets dubbed or subtitled.

Whelp I loved it. It’s a great Rom Com that hooks up with Princess Diaries. It really is a great cast, a slightly different version of a known story, and the location and the way they toyed with culture but didn’t go too much into to alienate most the audience worked really well.

It really is one of the best romantic comedies I’ve seen in awhile, crying moments, the good and bad, laughing, and of course the ability to connect with the main lead. I hope Hollywood realizes that many of the actors could easily carry a well written and generally good movie. It probably was just a tad too hyped, but if you go in thinking I want a good romantic comedy, I don’t see how it could go wrong. And I was very pleasantly surprised by the over the top characters too. They worked well compared to a lot movies that just don’t use those characters correctly or go overboard.

I also realized I really have heard Constance Wu speak for any length of time outside of Fresh off the Boat so it was interesting to hear her without an extremely exaggerated accent. Oh and my gaming group wants to try mahjong now. I’ve never played outside the computer game which does not look like that… so that might be in our future.

Oh and our theater just started selling alcohol. I had one of the strongest pina coladas I’ve ever had in my life. I did not finish it. I have no idea why they would serve something that strong in a theater. It’s a machine too.

I haven’t gone to see a RomCom in a theater in decades, but I’m definitely going to see this.

For those of you who don’t get Twitter, I had a blast reading the response to this tweet.

Basically, lots of Asian-American telling story of bringing home 98 on their and their parents glaring at them, why not 100?

Heh, we need a fun stuff on Social Media topic.

Mahjong is basically just 4 player gin rummy, with some additional betting and scoring rules. There’s a couple variants though. If you buy a tile set, it may even have rules included.

The computer versions you played may have just been the solitaire tile-matching game? That uses the same tiles, but isn’t really related at all.

Wahoo! Glad you loved it too! Yeah it was like a breath of fresh air for me! Although it would have been better with a Pina Colada, I am jealous :) thats sounds awesome!