As the summer movie season heats up this month, some of us can’t wait until August — or more precisely, August 17, 2018, when Crazy Rich Asians the movie officially hits the theaters. And I’m even more thrilled about the film since seeing the trailer, which dropped last month. Here are three reasons I’m all psyched about the forthcoming movie Crazy Rich Asians:
It’s “Like the Asian Bachelor“
That quote from the Crazy Rich Asians trailer nails one of the most exciting things about this movie. The dreamy Mr. Right at the heart of the film — the one every woman desperately wants to snag, not unlike the hit US reality TV show The Bachelor — happens to be an Asian man.
That’s a huge deal.
While Asian actors overall — men and women — rarely play the romantic leads in Hollywood movies, that’s especially true for Asian men, slapped with some of the most damaging and racist stereotypes in popular media. More often than not, Asian men are portrayed as effeminate and even laughable, but rarely the guy you’d swoon over.
So a movie with an Asian man as “the most eligible bachelor” — a guy who’s suave in a tux with a sexy British accent — is extraordinary. It surpasses any romantic leads I’ve ever seen on TV or in the movies played by an Asian man. In a word, it’s groundbreaking.
So is this snippet of conversation in the trailer between the romantic leads Nick Young (played by Henry Golding) and Rachel Chu (played by Constance Wu):
Rachel: You really should have told me you’re like the Prince William of Asia.
Nick: That’s ridiculous. I’m much more of a Harry.
In This Cinderella Story, She’s Asian
Fans have called Crazy Rich Asians another Cinderella story and it’s an apt comparison. After all, compared to Nick Young’s ultrawealthy family, solidly middle-class Rachel Chu doesn’t have that kind of money or lifestyle. And even though she happens to be his girlfriend, she spends the story fighting for a place with him and in the opulent, over-the-top world he inhabits in Asia.
When was the last time you saw an Asian woman starring as a kind of Cinderella figure in a Hollywood movie? It rarely happens, if at all. So it’s amazing to see that the woman we’re all rooting for to live happily ever after is Asian.
And if the trailer is any measure, Constance Wu truly shines in her role as Rachel Chu, complete with plenty of princess-worthy gowns.
The Entire Cast Is Asian
Crazy Rich Asians director Jon Chu said, “It’s not a movie. It’s a movement.”
People have been saying this movie is to the Asian community what Black Panther has been for the Black community, and for good reason. Because visibility and representation matters, period.
For the first time, you have a movie where the entire cast is all Asian actors. A movie that lets a variety of characters, with all of their nuances and imperfections and humanity, stand out on the big screen, all of whom happen to be Asian.
Also, when you have a movie populated exclusively by a diverse cast of Asians, there’s no room for damaging stereotypes or racist typecasting.
This is art that sends a strong message — that more Asian actors deserve leading roles in the movies. And if Crazy Rich Asians succeeds, it could lead to many more films headed by a strong Asian cast of characters, meaning more positive portrayals of Asians onscreen.
And that, to borrow a line from a song in the trailer for Crazy Rich Asians, “is glorious!”
Have you heard about Crazy Rich Asians? What about the upcoming movie are you thrilled about?
P.S.: If you need your Crazy Rich Asians fix now, I highly recommend picking up Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians, as well as the second and third books in the series, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems. They’re all available at Amazon.com, where your purchases help support this blog.
P.P.S.: If you haven’t seen the Youtube trailer, check it out now: