I recently watched Crazy Rich Asians, and couldn’t help write a proud movie review. This highly anticipated romantic comedy-drama is the first major Hollywood film in 25 years with an all-Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club.
The film debutted before the release at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, a staggering average rating. Since its release, it’s dropped to 92%, which is still fresher than most films you ever see. Asians needed this film to do well in Hollywood to prove to Asians can succeed on film, and this was one of our only opportunities to do so.
It debuted #1 at $35 million at the box office on opening weekend, completely covering its budget. Chris Pratt, one of the most famous actors right now, said it was the best movie he saw “in a long, long time” on Twitter.
Wow. Theatre was packed for #crazyrichasians Didn’t know what to expect. But it blew my socks off. Holy crap. What an awesome movie!! Haven’t seen a movie that good in a long, long time.
— chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) August 19, 2018
I was surprised how packed and diverse the theater was when I went. A lot of the audience weren’t Asians. I asked the old, Caucasian lady on my left why she came to see it, and she said she heard a bunch of good news about it everywhere, including the Today Show and radio. Here’s my one-minute video review of the film right after I saw it:
After the film, I felt like I went on a luxury vacation and drank a tropical cocktail. The film itself was down to earth, filled with traditional and modern Asian and American themes I can relate to, spaced well with on-point, humor to keep me interested, and injected with the perfect amount of tear-jerker, romantic moments. I almost cried a couple times, and I’ve had a hard time crying for several years as a man.
I’ve watched a decent amount of romantic comedies, including You’ve Got Mail for the first time this year, and I usually zone out in the middle of the rom-com. But this film grabbed my attention from the start and held it throughout the film with humor, visual candy, and tense moments.
Not every Asian supports the film; some even boycotted it and spread negativity for the ridiculous reason of the male lead, Henry Golding, not being 100% Asian. But the overwhelming majority has been spreading tons of positivity. I am so proud of its success and the movement of Asians from all backgrounds coming out to support this movie across the world.
Happy for the success of this film. The room at the theater was packed and it was mostly non-Asian women in the theater. It kept my interest throughout when I usually get bored, and the audience laughed in spurts throughout. It was fresh, concise, visually stunning, American, and filled with modern stereotypes you’ll love.
Asians have historically had a hard time getting lead roles in films or television. I saw a whole 30-minute interview with the cast, which taught me more than I ever understood about how important it was that this film did well, given that it was our one shot.
The cast also explained how having representation (or lack thereof) impacted their identity and self-esteem growing up. Because of these factors, Constance Wu, the female lead, said that she always internalized she wasn’t good enough.
She said a single film cannot represent all the types of Asians, but with this success, we can make more films.
As Will Smith says, don’t use other people’s opinions to validate your self-worth. At that point, it is no longer SELF-worth; it is like looking at your reflection through a cracked mirror.
We’re all out here supporting Crazy Rich Asians! Not every Asian I ran into likes it or supports it; some even boycotted it and spread negativity for ridiculous reasons like the lead not being 100% Asian, but clearly, the overwhelming majority has been spreading so much positivity. I am happy for its success! We didn’t have many opportunities to get it right. I saw a whole 30 minute interview with the cast today, and they taught me more than I understood how important it is to prove to Hollywood it was marketable to get more. The interview also explained how having representation (or lack thereof) really impacted their identity and self esteem growing up. @constancewu said that she always internalized and thought she wasn’t good enough and how we cannot represent all types of Asians in a single film, but we can move to represent more. As @willsmith says, don’t use other people’s opinions to validate your self worth. At that point, it is no longer SELF worth; it is like looking at your reflection through a cracked mirror.
People who have read the book have told me the plot stuck closely to the book but had to leave out many of the granular details. Asian men have told me that they walked out of the film enjoying it. Some have said it was “so good,” while others have said it was a solid 8 out of 10.
More than anything, Asian American millennial men have told me that they’ve come out of the film feeling “proud to possess Asian qualities,” “feeling more confident,” and feeling like it’s a great win and exposure for all Asians. Some Asian American men have had identity crisis and self-esteem issues due to bullying, culture-clash, and lack of masculine representation in entertainment. This movie is providing the opposite of what they’re used (feminized, incapable Asians on screen) to by showing a new breed of rich, masculine, muscular, empathetic, successful, well-dressed, and diverse Asian men.
How do you feel about the film?
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