Stir Crazy (Movie Thoughts: Crazy Rich Asians)

largeposterWhen I got offered a chance to attend an advanced screening of ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ I grabbed it right away. I had been looking forward to this film since it was announced for a couple of reasons. First, it’s the first all-Asian cast since ‘The Joy Luck Club,’ and I had also read (and enjoyed) Kevin Kwan’s book. But most importantly, it is a romantic comedy,  and we have not been getting as much of those in recent years.

And ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ deliver in every sense. This is the kind of escapist summer movie that I love – filled with beautiful people and beautiful things, and beautiful emotions. It may not make you fall in love, but it will at least make you feel like you have. It is fun, and the movie has fun with having fun. And the aforementioned cast is close to perfection. Henry Golding makes a perfect ‘Prince Charming,’ and Constance Wu a lovely Cinderella (I had to warm up to her, though) But the best parts are scenes with Awkwafina (who steals every scene she is in) and Michelle Yeoh, who single-handedly manages to make a three-dimensional role a fully-realized human. And Singapore has never looked lovelier – from the scenery to the food to its lush greenery.  So maybe the soap-y plot is familiar, and just like the book, there are too many characters (Kwan even put a glossary for the characters to keep them all straight)  You won’t really notice that, though, because director John Chu frames the film like this was one of his ‘Mission Impossibles:’ it’s fast and furious, and  fabulous. This for me has been the most enjoyable film this summer, and it made me laugh and cry. (The wedding scene made me cry buckets of tears) And it made me feel that brief euphoric feeling of falling in love, (even for me, the ‘generic’ kind) and that, like a Mastercard experience, is priceless.

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