‘Crazy Rich Asians’ tops box office

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ tops box office

Maggie O'Donnell, Features Editor

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The last predominantly Asian cast film was released about 25 years ago by the name of “The Joy Luck Club,” based on the novel by the same name.

In theaters today is “Crazy Rich Asians,” the latest film with a predominantly Asian cast, which also has been based off of a novel by the same name written by Kevin Kwan.

The film follows New York resident Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) to Singapore to meet the family of her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding). While in Singapore, the couple will also attend Nick’s best friend’s wedding between characters Araminta Lee (Sonoya Mizuno) and Colin Khoo (Chris Pang), the so-called event of the year in Asia.

It’s not long before Rachel learns Nick’s secret, though: his family is one of the wealthiest families in Asia, and he’s one of the most eligible bachelors there, too. Every single woman in his social class envies Rachel, which makes her a target of jealously. While fighting off these girls, Rachel also has to prove herself to Nick’s disapproving mother, Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh), who wants them separated.

Under the direction of Jon M. Chu, the acting didn’t follow the typical romantic comedy cliché; it was more delightful and more of an old-fashioned comedy that really hit home with the audience. The cast also included very comedic actors/actresses like Awkwafina, who plays Peik Lin Goh, one of Rachel’s only friends when she is in Singapore; and Ken Jeong, who plays Wye Mun Goh, father to Peik Lin Goh. These actors, plus the rest of the cast, brighten up theaters with a light comedy.

Additionally, “Crazy Rich Asians” isn’t the typical movie seen nowadays with its all Asian cast and focus on Asian culture, but these actors/actresses really bring the contemporary Asian culture to an American audience.

An element important to emphasizing this contemporary Asian culture was the music. The movie score blended American and Chinese culture by combining classic Chinese songs and popular American songs reworked with Chinese lyrics and sung by Asian performers. It is an element that really makes the movie stand out compared to other movies in theaters currently.  Especially during the wedding scene, the music helped to enhance the romantic feel, particularly between the main characters because it really shows the true connection and love they have for each other.

Another aspect of the movie that really helped it to shine was the costumes. The costume designer for this film was Mary E. Vogt. She meticulously chose the wardrobes for each character, making sure they fit their personalities perfectly.

For example, the first glimpse the audience gets of Nick’s cousin Astrid (Gemma Chan), a fashion icon in Asia, is a clean-lined elegant look as she confidently walks into a high-end jewelry store, truly showing the audience who she is. For the wedding scene, Vogt created a wedding dress based on the actress, Sonoya, [who is] a ballet dancer. The dress was covered with thousands of Swarovski crystals that really made the actress shine when she walked down the aisle.

Many lessons can be learned from this movie from money doesn’t buy happiness to standing up for what you believe in, especially when it comes to who you love. Throughout the whole movie Rachel is seen standing up for herself and trying to show Eleanor that she and Nick belong together despite her social background.

Also seen throughout the movie is Nick’s disinterest in taking over the family business. All he cares about is being with Rachel, proving that money isn’t what makes him happy; it’s Rachel who does.

Throughout the movie, the way the characters presented themselves was very important. They either presented themselves in a way that was deemed suitable for Eleanor, or they displeased her, and she would ban them from an event. Looking at the wedding scene the audience sees this.

Rachel, though, shows up in a Cinderella-like gown, proving to Eleanor that she belongs in the family while still staying true to herself, ignoring all the mean and unkind things people have had to say about her while she was in Singapore.

There are numerous lessons to be learned in this movie; it just depends on how the audience perceives the film.

This movie is for people who like romantic comedies because that is exactly what this movie is. It isn’t limited to any group of people; it was made for anyone to watch and enjoy, to laugh and to cry and to watch with their best friend or whomever they may go see the movie with.

Since the movie is rated PG-13, it’s perfect for middle school and high school students to see to learn a little bit more about Asian culture.

As a result, I give this movie a five-out-of-five stars. It made me laugh, cry and get angry– so many emotions went through me when watching this film. I recommend it to everyone because I loved that it was an all-Asian cast; it made me appreciate the culture more than I already do, and all of the actors were phenomenal. The movie is still in theaters, so I encourage people to go see it with their friends, family, or a random stranger because it is a must-see movie.

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‘Crazy Rich Asians’ tops box office