Awkafina and Nico Santos Steal the Show in Crazy Rich Asians
Crazy Rich Asians serves as a reminder of the cultural differences in society which makes us unique. In the African-American community, our bond through the church, food and music have been staples for decades. As a child, I remember fondly going to church on Sunday and bonding over the service with dinners in the church basement.
As beautiful as these memories are, there is also a stigma within our community concerning skin color, hair texture and economic class. Light skinned was considered better. Wavy or Straght hair was considered better. If your family introduced you to society as a debutante through “Jack and Jill”, your family supposedly was financially sound and immensely respected. Apparently, the same is true within the Asian community. Asians bond generationally teaching young ones the proper way to construct the perfect dumpling. Family comes first at any cost and what class you are descended from is of great importance.
One of the most memorable scenes is the opening which introduces us a young Nick, his sister Astrid and his Mom Eleanor as they arrive at hotel during a rainstorm in the middle of the night. Regardless of a reservation and because they are Asian, the management refused to let them check in. When it is revealed that Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) is in fact the new owner of the establishment, that moment speaks volumes. Volumes about how people of color are often prematurely judged as a sterotype. An issue so disgustingly and globally prevalent in our society to this day.
Although all of the actors in this film are exceptional, the comic reliefs Nico Santos, Awkafina as Rachel’s crazy, yet stylish bestie, Peik Lin Goh and her nutty parents (Ken Jeong and Koh Chieng Mun) provide many a chuckle at the precisely needed moment
Constance Wu is the real deal and I look forward to seeing her stretch her wings beyond this film. She’s gorgeous, smart, funny and can hold down a film lead with no effort at all.
Michelle Yeoh is the Asian Meryl Streep. Yeah, I said it!!!! This doll communicates volumes without uttering a single syllable. When she does speak, she sends chills down your spine. Having been a fan of her work dating back to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, like Wu, I hope to see her work stretch beyond this film.
Adapted from the Kevin Kwan novel and directed by Jon M. Chu, Crazy Rich Asians is funny, beautiful and a spectacular endorsement for Singapore. Sure there are elements from every classic romantic comedy ranging from Pretty Woman to Best Friend’s Wedding, but it seamlessly mixes between the old-school Chinese generational customs and with a splash of millennial updates. It’s charming and educational, all while serving as a backdrop for a simple and heartwarming love story.
Produced by Warner Brothers Pictures, Crazy Rich Asians open nationwide on August 15th.