I saw Crazy Rich Asians last night [August 28], and oddly very little is sticking with me apart from the wedding service soundtracked to “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” which I’ll admit was moving and sweet. The core of the film is your typical Meet the Parents-style rom-com with an Asian twist and additional ostentatious displays of wealth and privilege. For us lowly plebs, this is wealth porn on max, and I’m sure half of my theatre audience was salivating over the opulence of the homes, the deluxe jewelry and fashions, and the mountains of high-end food being served in every corner… when they weren’t crying over Rachel and Nick’s dewy-eyed romance, of course, or laughing at Awkwafina’s hijinks. I overheard a guy telling his friend that “I laughed, I cried, I got angry,” before lauding it as a great summer flick, and I’m sure most people felt the same.
While I wouldn’t go so far as to call it great, it’s easy to appreciate yet another blockbuster with a cast of minority actors proving that they never had anything to prove in the first place. Why have all those generic, white bread rom-coms when you can have Constance Wu straight up killing it in a lead role, and the majestic Michelle Yeoh cementing her status as an icon? They might not have the best material to work with, or the best director possible helming them, but they and rest of the cast shine brightly anyway and have the audience firmly on their side. That’s good enough for me.