Add me to the list of fans of Crazy Rich Asians. I didn’t read the book, but we saw the movie this week and I was impressed with a few things.
1. It Has Universal Themes
Thus the mainstream success, I suppose. Once you peel back the Rich and Asian, you discover the film is actually mostly about the Crazy. Crazy being what everyone else is who doesn’t share your culture/religion/values/politics etc. Reminded me of The Big Sick, which I didn’t actually see 🙂 but I read about.
2. The All-Asian Cast and Director
How cool is it that an all-minority (for the U.S. anyway) movie is achieving mainstream success? First Black Panther, now Crazy Rich Asians. Movies that match what the real world looks like – who would have guessed they could be successful? 😉
3. It’s Family-Friendly: PG-13
Nora and I went to the movie with Pippa and I wasn’t constantly squirming in my seat because of the words and images my teenager was consuming right next to me. Granted I might be more sensitive than most – I squirmed through a bit of Kingsman: The Secret Service when it was just Nora and me – but it’s pretty great to just watch a movie without being distracted by over-the-top sex (anal in Kingsman) and violence.
4. It’s a Real Rom-Com
Not sure if you’ve noticed, but they don’t make romantic comedies anymore, because they under-perform with teenage and international audiences. I’ve noticed because Nora regularly laments their passing. I try to point to movies like La La Land, but she laughs in my face. Turns out an artsy movie with some romance and a complicated real-life ending doesn’t count.
5. It Incorporates an Actual Bible Study
I know it’s a set piece meant to contrast a serious subject (spiritual development) with a non-serious one (gossip), but I’m so used to Christianity being mocked in Hollywood movies, that I’ve come to expect it. Like in Captain Fantastic, where the family on the run sings children’s bible songs to scare the cop away from this ‘obviously crazy’ family.
6. The Money Lesson is Good
Love and happiness trumps wealth. Another not-infrequent book and movie (and life) theme, but it’s always good to reinforce it. (See King Edward VIII abdicating the British throne for the love of his life). Yes, we desire freedom from want. Yes, we want financial independence. Yes, we want to retire early. But not at the expense of love and happiness. Who wants to retire early to a miserable home life?
Have you seen the movie? What do you think?