When Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an economics professor, gets an invitation from her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to come to her cousin’s wedding in Singapore, she considers this an opportunity to get to know her lover’s family. But without him knowing, it turns out that his lover’s family is the richest family in Singapore and the marriage of Araminta Lee (Sonoya Mizuno) and Colin Khoo (Chris Pang) is predicted to be the wedding of the century. The arrival of Rachel, who was introduced for the first time as Nick’s lover, received an unpleasant reception by their family and circle of friends, they assumed that Rachel was not in their class and she only wanted to seize Nick’s property. Despite the constant pressure,
In a romance film or romantic comedy, a gimmick is a common thing. Likewise, the Cinderella story gimmick used by Crazy Rich Asians is also often mentioned, one of which is in the controversial 50 Shades of Grey trilogy . However the gimmick is used, which will make the audience feel what they are feeling, in this film, I don’t feel the cool and unique feeling. This is different from, say, watching Rompis where the story feels close, or some rom-com films that I recently watched like Serendipity (2001) orSet It Up (2018) which even though both of them feel very cheesy but still looks sweet to him.
Some moments that some people say make me whine and when I watch it next to me several times I scream in exasperation and finally, I can’t feel the same way. Starting from mother-daughter interactions, playing mahjong, to moments on the plane, everything feels normal. Even during the wedding scene especially when Nick mumbled the words “I Love You” to Rachel, I felt more of an “aseeekk” feeling than a “aaawwww” feeling. The most memorable moment for me was precisely in the sub-plot between Astrid (Gemma Chan) and Charlie (Harry Shum Jr.) which if the portion was bigger and coincided with the main plot of Rachel and Nick’s story, the comparison of the two stories would be more “pungent”. (Perhaps this is discussed more deeply in the book, which although I have just had it but haven’t read it yet.)
Maybe the main problem for me not being able to enjoy Crazy Rich Asians like other audiences is the many strange and magical characters. Often times in every film title –not just rom-com films – there is one witty character as a comic relief whose “duty” is to invite laughter from the audience through his behavior or dialogue. In this film, there are too many characters whose behavior is weird and tends to be ridiculous, which instead of making me laugh but actually makes my reaction “what the hell is this”. Starting from Peik Lin Goh and his family, Bernard Tai (Jimmy O. Yang), his director and artist partner, to Araminta and Colin’s circle of friends; everything looks weird and some tends to be creepyrather than funny. If there were more elegant rich people like Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh), maybe I could feel more.
Despite not getting the taste that I should have felt like other audiences, Crazy Rich Asians still has elements that I like. The use of the extraordinary wealth of the Young family often takes my breath away. Even with cultural representations that are very Asian, they also often make themselves smile because they are often found in everyday life, this will be difficult to find in other Hollywood rom-com films with different cultures and habits, but again, even though they are very different, these films I can still feel ithis. One other important thing is the selection of songs that are really serene, which even though they use Mandarin which you don’t understand at all, you can still feel them (especially Coldplay’s Yellow composition).