K E Y P O I N T S
- ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a rom-com based on Kevin Kwan’s novel of the same name
- Directed by Jon M. Chu, it boasts Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan and Awkwafina among its stars
- The film has been a huge critical and commercial success in the US, following its release in August, topping the box office
- It is the first Hollywood movie in 25 years to feature an all-Asian cast
- It has taken years to get the project off the ground, as it was first announced in 2013
- During the development process, Kevin was asked if the lead female, Rachel, could be rewritten as a white woman - he refused
- Owing to the film’s success, a sequel is already in development
- ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is released in UK cinemas on Friday 14 September
S N A P V E R D I C T
Based on Kevin Kwan’s novel, the plot of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ (the ‘crazy’ being ‘crazy rich’, not ‘crazy bonkers’) follows New York Economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) who travels to Singapore with her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to attend a friend’s wedding, giving her the chance to also meet his family. She soon discovers Henry is ‘crazy rich’ and belongs to the Singaporean elite but many of them, especially Nick’s mother Eleanor, disapprove of their relationship, making her the target for the jealous socialites.
Whilst there’s nothing particularly original about the well-trodden Cinderella-style plot, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ has shown there’s an appetite for some light-hearted relief at the cinema right now. When it was released in the US three weeks ago, it topped the box office and has banked $135m so far. Not bad for a $30m movie. Even more impressive when you consider it’s the first big-screen movie to feature an all-Asian cast in 25 years. And there’s plenty to enjoy here.
It’s brilliantly kitsch for a start. And glamorous. Not since the ‘Sex And The City’ movies has wealth, fashion and excess been so unashamedly celebrated on the silver screen. The laughs don’t exactly come thick and fast - it’s more rom than com - but it moves along at a smart pace, as we’re introduced to the good, the bad and the ugly cast of characters.
Anyone who has had to meet the in-laws or attend a fractious family gathering (i.e all of us) will relate to Rachel’s predicament, as she’s introduced to Nick’s steely mother and whispering extended family. Luckily she has her old college pal, Peik Lin Goh, in town for support, played by a scene-stealing Awkwafina.
As with all rom-coms, we know there will be a fairytale ending, but for all its predictability, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ still feels like a fresh - and luxurious - escape.