Romcom’s (romantic comedies) are not my favorite genre of movies, but I do have my favorites. Two romcom’s I have a soft spot for are “Moonstruck” and “Clueless.” Those two films are as different the cities where they are set: New York and Los Angeles. The setting of a romcom is certainly important, as the new film “Crazy Rich Asians” is set in Singapore, and the city definitely adds to the romantic tone of the film. The film begins in New York City where we are introduced
to American -born Chinese economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) and her boyfriend Nick (Henry Golding).
The two appear to be very happy in their relationship, so much so Nick decides to take Rachel home to Singapore for the wedding of his best friend. The visit will also be an opportunity for Nick’s family to meet Rachel. Word soon spreads via social media that Nick (think of his family as the Asia Kardashians, but with even more money) will be bringing his new girlfriend with him, which proves to be controversial when the news reaches the ears of Nick’s mom Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). While Nick and Rachel have been dating he has never mentioned his family’s wealth, so when the two board the jet bound for Singapore, Rachel is shocked to discover the two are in first class, and Nick reveals the truth. I suppose if one must reveal a truth, saying you come from a super wealthy family would be an extremely pleasant surprise.
Once the duo arrive in Singapore, they are meet Eleanor, who despite coming from a Bible study, has the steely demeanor of a spoiled diva. Nick and Rachel also get to explore Singapore and take in the sights and food of the beautiful city, which I will add has been named the world’s smartest city, the world’s safest country, and the third-most competitive country. The film certainly proved to me Singapore would be a wonderful place to visit. After taking in the sights of the city, our duo prepare for the wedding and more dealings with Eleanor. Rachel has the opportunity to meet and stay in the home of her old collage roommate Peik Lin Goh (Awkwafi na), who in her blonde tresses, provides some comic relief for the film. Peik’s “new money” family is a sight to behold, and are hilarious.
During the visit, Rachel has a very unpleasant encounter with Eleanor, who basically tells the sweet girl she will never be enough for her son. Despite this encounter, Nick’s grandmother Ah Ma (Lisa Lu) takes a liking to Rachel, and eventually proves to be an ally. The wedding of Nick’s best friend is a sight to behold, with among other highlights, a stream of water running down the aisle of the church. The wedding after party is like a combination of a concert and a New Years Eve party. Nick and Rachel are definitely influenced by the wedding and despite many rough patches find a way to happiness. How they get there I will not reveal, less to spoil the story-line. The actors are all wonderful in the film, and the two leads have marvelous screen chemistry.
The film is also special for the fact not since the 1993 film “The Joy Luck Club” has a major Hollywood film featured a majority Asian American cast. Oh, there will be a sequel, so until then we have the joy and humor of “Crazy Rich Asian” to enjoy. If romcom’s are you cup of tea, add this film to your must-see list.