Film Review: Stylish ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a Bit Too Soap Opera

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CHICAGO – “Crazy Rich Asians” is not meant to be anything but glitzy fun, but in the midst of the glamour, excessive wealth and beautiful people, there is a plot that ventures into Soap Opera land, and eventually becomes a distraction for the reason an audience goes to this show… to fantasize about living large. Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Constance Wu and Henry Golding are the impossibly beautiful Chinese flowers who live in New York City, and they are placed into the middle of an over-the-top friend’s wedding of Golding’s character, complete with stoic Mom and hand made dumplings. The film is a celebration of Asian culture in all permutations, as long as everyone speaks a passable King’s English. It also revels in its excess, in a Great Gatsby sort of way (“luckily I have my [helicopter] pilot’s license”), which is for the most part done tastefully. But “rich” is in the title baby, so we better pleasure ourselves with the same avarice that got our Dear Leader elected. What is that famous Chinese blessing/curse? “May you live in interesting times.”

Constance Wu is Rachel, a Chinese immigrant in America raised by her single Mom and teaching Economics at NYU. She has been dating Nick (Henry Golding) for a year, and their relationship is heating up. She is unaware that her boyfriend is part of one the richest families in Asia (Singapore based), until he asks her to go to a friend’s wedding, which turns out to be the biggest social event in the whole of Asia.

When they land on the island nation, Nick and Rachel go through the looking glass to a land of excessive wealth, anchored by Nick’s traditional mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). The matriarch seems determined to split Nick from his working class girlfriend, so Rachel seeks comfort from an old college roommate (a funny Awkwafina) and her wacky family, anchored by Wye Mun Goh (Ken Jeong). As Bill Murray would say, “this is one nutty nuptial.”

“Crazy Rich Asians” opened everywhere on August 15th. Featuring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina and Ken Jeong. Screenplay adapted by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim, based on a novel by Kevin Kwan. Directed by Jon M. Chu. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Crazy Rich Asians”

Flower Drum Song: Nick (Henry Golding) and Rachel (Constance Wu) in ‘Crazy Rich Asians’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Crazy Rich Asians”

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