On August 15th, Crazy Rich Asians premiered in theaters across the nation. It made history by being the first Hollywood funded film with a predominantly Asian cast since the 1993 movie adaptation of The Joy Luck Club.
This new and thrilling Rom-Com is based off a novel with the same title by Kevin Kwan, and it follows the love story of Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), a Chinese American economics professor, and Nick Young (Henry Golding), a fellow Chinese professor from Singapore. After one year of dating, Nick decides to surprise Rachel with a trip to Singapore to not only attend his best friend’s wedding, but to also meet his family. As the film progresses, the couple is tested with hardships pertaining to family, wealth, and tradition, and are forced to make decisions that could change the dynamics of their relationship together and their relationships with their families.
As an Asian American, I couldn’t help being emotional while watching this film. If I’m being honest, I cried at least three times. You see, for the first time in my life, I saw my face, my skin, and parts of my culture on screen. For once, I saw a movie that didn’t typecast Asian Americans into stereotypical, one-dimensional side characters; I saw Asians as real people falling in love, getting hurt, and fighting for what they believe in.
While representation may not seem like a big deal to some and while some may say Asians are just trying to join the “oppression olympics,” when you don’t see yourself in mainstream media, it’s hard to feel visible.
It’s hard to feel recognized.
Maybe I’m being biased, but I believe this movie changed the game for Asian Americans in the American film industry. Crazy Rich Asians proved that people want to see Asian faces on screen by taking the number one spot in the box office and by making $34 million on it’s 5 day opening and by being the first Rom-Com to top the box office since 2015.
If you’re looking for a summer Rom-Com that’s both sweet and sexy, funny and heartbreaking, this is the movie for you. It not only exceeds expectations, but it also sets the bar for future Hollywood films starring Asians to come.