As soon as I finished reading Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians, I immediately thought that it'd be great if it were adapted into a movie. Fast forward a few years later and it's the opening weekend of said movie this weekend. I've been eagerly waiting for it since the project was announced almost two years ago, and I cannot wait to completely obliterate the film for any deviation or omission from the book.
Kidding not kidding; what do you mean Astrid is a Young and not a Leong?
Anticipation for a good nitpicking session aside, the Crazy Rich Asians movie is getting massive buzz for being the first major studio-backed film to star a majority Asian cast: 25 years since The Joy Luck Club. 25 years! If you thought African-Americans had it difficult with representation in Hollywood with the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Asian-Americans are might as well be invisible. I'm still waiting for the first Asian-American cast member to feature on Saturday Night Live, a show that's been airing for four decades.
So it's a great occasion, and if you are any parts Asian at all we owe it to our culture to support the Crazy Rich Asian movie, because it must succeed: Hollywood simply won't tolerate its failure. We know the chance is high if Crazy Rich Asians bombs at the box office it'll be another 25 years until the next movie with an Asian cast. That's just how it works and has worked.
I'm especially happy for the people who are moved to great emotion in seeing Asian representation on the silver screen. Personally I grew up watching Asian movies and television shows so the issue of "representation" was never a big deal for me, because I easily recognized myself in the media I was consuming. That said I greatly appreciate what Crazy Rich Asians symbolizes for many Asian-Americans, and I hope the movie opens the floodgates for many more art projects by Asians to come to the mainstream.
A quick shoutout to Justin Lin and his seminal Better Luck Tomorrow. It wasn't a major studio film, but it was the first American movie that I saw proper representation: Asian characters as every day people I know, and not the usual kung-fu fighting or submissive damsel. Crazy Rich Asians bows its head to Lin's achievement.