Films are designed to be that little piece of escapism and although some go to Middle Earth or Pandora to find their get-away, taking a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous can be just as satisfying. That is where Crazy Rich Asians gets it right. This is a simple love story, “Meet the Parents” clone, with some roles slightly reversed, but the extravagance and absurdity to which it is played is done so well that you can’t help but be entertained.
There is a very fine balance when creating what would traditionally be called a “rom-com.” Lean too heavily either side and you don’t give the audience what they came for and the movie doesn’t sit right. Crazy Rich Asians manages this balance very well. It is funny, both overtly and obviously but also very subtly in places, with a cleverly written line or wry observation.
It also gives us a solid romance at its core. Leads Constance Wu and Henry Golding have great chemistry and you believe they are a couple about to get married. Golding is a likeable rich boy, running away from his heritage and inheritance. Wu is out of her depth and plays the necessary representation of the audience well, baffled and overwhelmed by all the “trimmings,” as well as intimidated by her future mother-in-law.
Michelle Yeoh plays the disapproving matriarch well. She isn’t a particularly dastardly villain and there have been plenty of her type of character in movies before, but she plays it so well that this can be overlooked fairly easily. She sneers when she needs to but delivers some key scenes with the right amount of heart as well.
In fact, the whole cast are fantastic and offer so much to the movie. From Nico Santos as the fashion expert who plays everything at 11, through to the rebellious sister played by Gemma Chan, who gives Wu a friendly outlet when it is needed. However, like in almost every film she is featured, Awkwafina practically steals the movie. She is the funniest character, gets the best lines and brings the film to life each time she is featured.
Crazy Rich Asians will entertain and if you want something that is light and funny, with the perfect level of romance, you could do a lot worse. You will have to look past the more predictable elements though as anyone who has seen any movie with shred of romance will recognise where the story is going. It also plays out in a very cheesy fashion, which is perfect for this kind of film but may have some people gagging.
Overall, Crazy Rich Asians delivers on the promise of an effective “rom-com.” Striking the right balance of humour and romance, it takes advantage of two great leads and a very entertaining supporting cast. Look past the predictable and cheesy moments and you will find a movie that will make you smile.
Rating – 4
(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)
As always get in touch below with a comment but also like our page on Facebook (Distinct Chatter) or follow us on Twitter – @distinctchat