Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 400-Word Review: Crazy Rich Asians

The light romcom is made for pleasing audiences — and in that respect, it succeeds.

Photo by Sanja Bucko. © 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment and Kimmel Distribution, LLC.

Crazy Rich Asians” is a pleasant greeting card of a movie, designed to not so much impress as mollify. It’s an experience that will leave you feeling nice, with characters who end up feeling nice, about places that look nice, nicely made by seemingly nice folks who appear to be having a nice time.

It goes down so smooth, you’ll barely notice it.

None of this is a criticism, really; in fact, I’m impressed with how affirming and passively shiny “Crazy Rich Asians” manages to be. Based on the bestseller of the same name by Kevin Kwan, the film grabbed headlines as the first major-studio production to feature a majority Asian cast and crew in 25 years, a fact which is much more to Hollywood’s discredit than it is any sort of plaudit.

Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), a hotshot NYU economics professor, is progressing in a loving relationship with the alarmingly attractive Nick Young (Henry Golding). When he invites her to a wedding in his native Singapore, however, the truth comes out: Young is hiding a dirty secret. Much to Rachel’s shock, he is unfathomably rich.

May we all be thus blindsided.

The sudden class shift is a shock, but the difficulty arrives in the form of Nick’s doting mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). She would have him return to his homeland, marry another scion and take over the family business; he would follow his bliss, as Rachel does, a philosophy dismissed as troublingly American by the matriarch.

The headaches Rachel suffers at Eleanor’s hands are minor, then suddenly intense. It can’t be said that “Crazy Rich Asians” doesn’t depict a serious conflict between its photogenic lovers; it does, however, insert that conflict curiously late, as if to maximize the amount of time the audience can spend unperturbed.

Journeyman director John M. Chu, whose previous filmography includes four entries in the “Step Up” franchise and two Justin Bieber documentaries, gets by; he creates a compelling sizzle reel for the Singapore Travel Bureau, at least. The winning charm in “Crazy Rich Asians,” then, is its radiant cast. Wu is a natural lead, the sort of performer who could never outstay her welcome. The show is utterly stolen, however, by Awkwafina, as Rachel’s college buddy. It’s the second film she’s dominated this summer (after “Ocean’s 8”). “Crazy Rich Asians” will be fondly remembered by fans — but broadly remembered as Awkwafina’s breakout role.


My Rating: 7/10

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

MultiStories: Three Times a Bust – The German National Bank

The bank was at the center of a corruption scandal which eventually led to an overhaul of Pittsburgh city government.

Matters of the Heart

In a city of eds and meds, it’s to be expected that some couples are going to meet in the medical field. We found some of the best “meet-cutes” from recent Pittsburgh weddings.

At Scene75, Be a Kid (or Bring Your Kids)

The entertainment center in Edgewood is a great time with or without little ones.

Pitt Attaches Old-School Signature to Narduzzi’s Championship Prediction

Thanks to wide receivers recognized for their blocking ability and an offensive line endearingly referred to as “knuckleheads“ –– the Panthers are one win away from making their head coach's bold pre-season prediction a reality.

Pittsburgh Restaurant News: Reduced Hours and a Chef Change

Two Oakland restaurants now have shorter hours and a chef moves from Downtown to Lawrenceville.

What Unites Us In the Wake of the Tree of Life Tragedy

We asked local faith leaders for their response to the massacre at Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill –– and how we can come together and more forward as a community.

Pittsburgh Restaurant Review: Molinaro Ristorante

Ron Molinaro's Downtown restaurant offers high-end Italian dishes made with top-notch ingredients, but is it worth the price premium?

Excellence in Nursing: Meet Our 2018 Honorees

Pittsburgh Magazine highlights the unsung heroes of the health care field: our Excellence in Nursing honorees, chosen by our panel of distinguished judges in the field.

Nursing Shortage in Pittsburgh Calls for Creative Solutions

RetuRN to Practice entices retired nurses back Into the field.

Fine Art Meets High Fashion at the Carnegie International

With the Carnegie International as the backdrop, we feature work by local fashion designer Elaine Healey, who has been morphing from luxury womenswear to a more “non-binary” style.

The 400-Word Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

While Harry Potter diehards will find more than enough sustenance in the sequel, non-devotees may have a rough time following the action.

Pittsburgh's Tomorrow – What We Need in the Future

As the year comes to a close, we look forward to what Pittsburgh can be –– and what we'd like to see change –– in the coming years.

How to Shop Like a Pro for Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh

Our guide to produce, pastries, libations and more will help your table brim with tasty treats from Pittsburgh-area businesses.

Drink Like the French on Beaujolais Nouveau Day

Why and where to celebrate on Thursday, which marks the annual release of the young wine.

‘X’ Marks the Spot for This Wedding Scavenger Hunt

She thought she was going on a simple scavenger hunt. She never dreamed it would end with a wedding.