Rachel Chu (Constance Wang) and Nick Young (Henry Golding) are both New York based students who have been dating for a while. Rachel knows nothing about Nick’s Singapore based family but she knows she loves Nick. When Nick announces that his best friend, Charlie Wu (Harry Shum Jr.) is getting married and he’d like Rachel to join him for the wedding, she is thrilled. However, nothing can prepare her for what she is about to face.
Crazy Rich Asians is not a particularly fresh or unique concept. It involves a beautiful, worthy young women from a low social standing in a fish out of water situation, having realised that her down-to-earth beau is basically a prince. Of course, Nick’s mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) is not one bit impressed with Rachel, nor does she think Rachel is good enough for her son. This is echoed by many of Nick’s friends, including his ex, Amanda (Jing Lusi).
It has several things in its favour though. Wang and Golding have great chemistry and are both so charming that you desperately want Rachel to one up the snobby Singaporean elite and for Nick to tell his mum to do one. It also looks absolutely magnificent. It’s wealth porn of the highest order. If you want a vicarious frisson of how the 1% live, you can’t get much better than this. (Although the ostentation is jarring after a while).
The supporting characters are genuinely hilarious. Rachel’s former college roommate, Peik Lin (Akwafina) and her eccentric family are pure gold as is Oliver (Nico Santos) Harry’s designer obsessed, gay “poor” cousin. And of course Michelle Yeoh is perfection as Nick’s icy mother.
I watched this while home ill with a horrible cold and it was the perfect thing for the miserable state I was in. While I pretty much knew exactly what was going to happen at every turn, it didn’t matter because it was a delight to lose myself in its frothiness.
If you are looking for serious, thought-provoking cinema Crazy Rich Asians is not the one but I can absolutely see why it was a box office smash and I thoroughly enjoyed it.