Yes, I am aware this movie came out a year ago. Yes, I am aware this review is late as all living F#$^. BUT, I just saw it for the first time and S@$^ has to be said!
I will get it out of the way that there was nothing about this film I disliked. It was completely up my alley. So I just want to rant about my favorite elements.
Gemma Chan: Gemma played Astrid, Nick’s cousin with the heart of gold. Her first scene with the pearl earrings had me a bit skeptical of her character. I could tell that Nick’s family was going to be a roller coaster and give us the cliche “rich family that hates the commoner” and I thought she would prove to be the worst of them. However, she really was made with a heart of gold!
I preach quite often that I’m all for feminist characters and female empowerment in film/television, but can get really annoyed when the direction doesn’t trust that the audience will understand on their own so they resort to on-the-nose pandering.
Yeah, this film didn’t hold my hand. Instead, Gemma Chan gave one of the BEST “F#$^# You”s I’ve seen in a film in a WHILE.
“Let’s be clear- the problem with our marriage wasn’t my family’s money, it’s that you’re a coward. You gave up on us. I just realized it’s not my job to make you feel like a man; I can’t make you something you’re not.”
I had to pause the movie and really take that in. She then proceeds to go to the bathroom to find those very pearl earrings we saw her buy at the beginning of the movie and proudly put them on.
I know it’s easier said than done but I appreciate Astrid in this film portraying a powerful lesson to not just women but to men as well; Do not dumb yourself down or lower your shine because you’re afraid to be alone.
Awkwafina: A star is born, folks. During every tense moment of the film I was yelling for Peik Lin to show up. Awkwafina could deliver a short line or no line at all and I’d be smiling. She’s absolutely hysterical.
“You have a cocktail dress in your trunk?”
Peik Lin: “I’m not an animal, Rachel.”
Michelle Yeoh: Let’s talk. I wanted to hate Eleanor but I couldn’t. Everything she wore was out of this WORLD. Even when she was straight up insulting Rachel to her face I’d be thinking DAMN that blue and gold dress is royalty!
Again, her character leans into the cliche that we see in films like this all the time; the rich parent that doesn’t think the commoner will ever be good enough for their child. Yet, Michelle Yeoh is able to deliver the performance and you still like her? Oh, and not just because of the fantastic clothes!
Her opening scene at the hotel is not only yet another great “F%W$ You” moment in the movie but it’s one of the moments that gives her character an appreciation factor. She has seen some S#$^#. She has had to work and fight for the respect of those around her whether it be employees or even family! She has given up things in her life and has dedicated herself to her deceased husband’s family even long after he’s gone. Though she has evil stepmother moments in the movie she is able to deliver those moments with class and grace. You don’t ever doubt that it’s coming from a place of duty and a sense of responsibility as opposed to a feeling of superiority.
Henry Golding/Constance Wu: What to say? Henry Golding as Nick is a perfect embodiment of Prince Charming. Do men like this exist? Eh, sorry people, probably not. However, for the fantasy of movieland and romantic comedies he fit the script perfectly! Knowing Rachel so well after his mom does her DIRTY, he knew what would get her out of her funk is her own mother. So, HE GETS HER ON A PLANE AND BRINGS HER TO SINGAPORE.
Sorry world. That bar was raised too high.
Constance Wu was lovely, and a great lead for the film. Her real crowning moment came at the end when she has her sit-down with Eleanor… Yes, that moment that had me jumping out of my seat. She confesses to Eleanor that Nick proposed and she turned him down. She tells her,
“… I just wanted you to know that one day when he marries another lucky girl who is enough for you and you’re playing with your grand kids that it was because of me- a poor, raised by a single mother, low class, immigrant nobody.”
GET. IT. GIRL.
It was the cherry-on-top for a film stuffed with so many feel-good moments. This is what movies are for! At least for me. I watch to feel something and my hope is that I feel something better than what I had when I sat down.
Crazy Rich Asians is an instant classic for me, and I’m excited for the sequels to come.
I give the film a 5/5 potatoes and a huge apology that it took me so long to watch it?