Last evening I finally saw Crazy Rich Asians, and it's everything I thought I didn’t need but my god is it ever so beautifully there. I've stated before that the whole Asian-American representation thing wasn't as big a deal for me as it is for others, but Crazy Rich Asians proved me utterly foolish: it was so awesome to see an English language film full of normal characters I can identify with on a cultural level.
I never thought the jubilation I got from watching Better Luck Tomorrow the first time could be found again, yet here I am, profoundly moved by Crazy Rich Asians.
What a wonderful adaption of the novel by director Jon M. Chu and company. Speaking as someone who have read the book, the movie excellently cherry-picked the major components of the story, presenting it with a simplistic fluidity that's equally satisfying for those who haven't read the source material. The minute details on how particular plot-points came to be are all in the novel, should audiences choose to dive deeper.
I especially loved how even when the film deviates from the book - like the final arc, little homages are sprinkled in as a nod to those that have read it. It's brilliantly done.
There were two moments in the film where someone in the theatre was for sure chopping onions: when Kina Grannis (as herself) started singing Can’t Help Falling In Love during the wedding sequence, and in the ending scenes where a cover of Coldplay's Yellow is sung in the background.
I really dig how Crazy Rich Asians is unabashedly, well, Asian: the themes and motifs are just as they are, pure and unexplained. Particularly, the crucial mahjong scene is sheer genius in it’s absence of how the game is played and what the individual tiles stood for. The creators didn't care you don't know mahjong: it's simply there, unreservedly. The intertwining of Chinese culture within Crazy Rich Asians is deeply heartfelt because it's such catharsis to see it presented without patronization.
The sequel cannot come soon enough.