Crazy Rich Asians.

Crazy Rich Asians

This sweetie may not be particularly crazy, but it sure is rich. A surprisingly modest adaptation of the Kevin Kwan best seller glides gracefully into traditional rom com territory until I’ll be damned if it doesn’t knock us in the heart with some pretty poignant and pungent stuff, leaving us genuinely moved and heartened.

Director Jon M. Chu takes us on a scenic dream, as New Yorker Rachel accompanies her boyfriend Nick to his best friend’s wedding back where he grew up in Singapore. Rachel’s mom warns her, she may look Chinese on the outside, but Nick’s family may not like her American insides. And that, of course, is exactly what happens. For some reason, even though they’ve been dating for a year, Rachel doesn’t know about Nick’s super rich family and everything her mother said comes true. And more.

Lovely Constance Wu and hunky Henry Golding are fine as the young lovers. More fun is had with Ronny Chieng, Ken Jeong, and especially Awkwafina, who steals more scenes here than she had the opportunity to do in Ocean’s 8. And I had fun watching Michelle Yeoh stretch her acting wings, as Nick’s mother. Credit, too, to the team who shot Singapore, making the place look so spectacular, the city might prepare for an onslaught of tourists.

As mainstream as it is, and yes, this is a very mainstream picture, we cannot go without noting that this is also a groundbreaking film. As the first big budget, contemporary Hollywood movie featuring an all-Asian cast in 25 years, clearly a lot of people will want to support a production that, frankly, looks like they do. And good for them. Will they relate to what they see? I, not Asian, can’t see why not. The themes here are universal. Love may not be easy for any of us, but it sure is worth the struggle.