Lav­ish rom-com feast

Broome Advertiser - - HAPPENINGS -

Crazy Rich Asians Stars Con­stance Wu, Henry Gold­ing, Michelle Yeoh Direc­tor Jon M Chu

It’s in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant to recog­nise that Crazy Rich Asians is the first ma­jor con­tem­po­rary Hol­ly­wood re­lease since The Joy Luck Club in 1993 to fea­ture a pre­dom­i­nantly Asian cast. There has been much furore in the film world over the lack of di­ver­sity in movies and the Asian com­mu­nity has been one of the most slighted.

Crazy Rich Asians is also one of the best ro­man­tic come­dies in gen­eral to come along in years. The movie could have as eas­ily been called Sleep­less in Sin­ga­pore, as there has not been a ro­man­tic com­edy this good since Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan stole our hearts.

The girl in this won­der­ful boy-loves-girl tale is New Yorker Rachel Chu (Con­stance Wu), an ac­com­plished and con­fi­dent col­lege pro­fes­sor. The boy is Nick Young (Henry Gold­ing), who in­vites Rachel to go with him to Sin­ga­pore to at­tend his best friend’s wed­ding. What she doesn’t know is Nick is part of one of the wealth­i­est fam­i­lies in Asia, and they are not open to out­siders com­ing into their world. Rachel be­comes the tar­get of fam­ily mem­bers who don’t see her as wor­thy, and jeal­ous women who want to take her place. At­tacks from all sides leave Rachel not only doubt­ing her re­la­tion­ship with Nick but also her­self.

The movie is filled with el­e­ments that make it both ro­man­tic and fun but it all boils down to the chem­istry be­tween Rachel and Nick. If Wu and Gold­ing can’t make the au­di­ence be­lieve they are in love, the highs and lows will not be strong enough to earn an emo­tional in­vest­ment.

Chu brings recog­ni­tion for her work on the TV se­ries Fresh Off the Boat, where she is a strong and dom­i­nat­ing pres­ence. Her char­ac­ter in Crazy Rich Asians starts strong but is worn down by the con­stant flow of neg­a­tiv­ity. Her abil­ity to show both the pain of re­jec­tion and the de­ter­mi­na­tion to be her­self no mat­ter what oth­ers think es­tab­lishes a strong half for the ro­man­tic equa­tion.

Un­der Chu’s guid­ance, Crazy Rich Asians finds the ex­act blend to make this not only a mile­stone pro­duc­tion in di­ver­sity, but a film that’s got all the el­e­ments to be uni­ver­sally en­ter­tain­ing.

Nico San­tos as Oliver, Con­stance Wu as Rachel and Koh Chieng Mun as Neenah.

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