top of page

Crazy Rich Asians

Before I watched this one I didn't know what to expect, and I almost gave it a pass because it looked too sappy. Crazy Rich Asians (2018) is a romantic comedy directed by Jon M. Chu and starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan, and Michelle Yeoh. I thought it was really quite good, in the same vein as Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), without the funerals. I'd say it works so well because of the even balance between comedy and drama, neither outweighing the other for too long, plus all the vibrant fashions and settings and obscene displays of wealth can hold one's attention through the sappier bits.

This is an American film, and I read somewhere it's the first with an all-Asian cast and Asian lead in a quarter century. What's a little weird, though, is that it takes place in Singapore, where they speak Singlish, a colloquial form of English. I get that some of the characters are "crazy rich" and were educated at top universities in the West, but wouldn't at least a few of them speak like they do in Singapore? Which makes me wonder what Singaporeans think of the movie.

As a side note, I saw Michelle Yeoh in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) the year it was released. The experience was interesting because I was in a theater in the Malaysian state of Penang. Yeoh is from Malaysia and there was a lot of excitement over her making it into such a huge movie, not just in Malaysia but across Southeast Asia. In Crazy Rich Asians, I was surprised to see her playing the role of an older mother. This can't be right, I thought, then counted back to 1997 and realized twenty-two years have passed since the Bond movie. Yikes. She gives a great performance in Crazy Rich Asians as she makes the audience despise her till the tear-jerker ending.

Pierce Brosnan Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies
Pierce Brosnan, Michelle Yeoh in Tomorrow Never Dies


bottom of page