Crazy Rich Asians
So, when Bree and I were off in Hawaii fighting a hurricane and getting married, we also took the time to see a couple of movies. Both of them were great in very different ways. This was the first of them.
There’s been a number of things written about this movie, most notably that it’s an all-Asian cast and that Hollywood expected it to bomb because of this; instead, the movie hit number one very quickly and made almost as much money as the romantic lead is supposed to have. There’s good reason for this: the movie is well-acted, well-directed, and well-written. It’s incredibly well put together.
When discussing the novel, the Poppy War, I mentioned that it had no surprises or twists but was just a well-told story. This is very much that, a tale you’ve seen done a billion times before, but rarely with this sense of elegance or extravagance, and never with all Asian players.
I’m hoping this movie changes that.
The premise is simple enough: girl is a probability and mathematics professor at a university and boyfriend decides to bring her home for the holidays. She goes with him and they get a private cabin on the plane. She hooks up with some old friends that are new rich and they’re shocked when she mentions her lover’s name, because he is the heir apparent to one of the largest fortunes on the planet.
Everything else is about his social circle and family coming to terms with her coming from a self-made family that is not wealthy. Classism and hierarchy are on full display, but our heroine’s intelligence and passion wins the day, silencing even her most ardent critic and even getting that critic to support the marriage.
There’s heartwarmth and heartbreak presented with an earnestness and beauty that would have burned in a more cynical tale. Some of the characters are cynical – most of the characters are cynical – but there’s a sense here that cynicism itself is wrong, a corruptive influence that makes life worse for those who are bound to it.
And, when it wants to be, this movie is breathtaking.
If you can find a theater showing it, go see it. If you can’t, make sure you’ve got a good size screen with which to take it all in. The visuals are lush, the sound expertly designed, and when this movie wants to it will leave you slack-jawed and teary-eyed.
Well worth seeing. Just unspeakably gorgeous and hits every note it wants to.
If you have any romance in your soul, go see this.