Having read and thoroughly enjoyed the novel by Kevin Kwan, I wondered if the film adaptation could possibly capture its glamor, extravagance, and humor.
I needn’t have worried.
Director Jon M. Chu has succeeded in creating an unforgettable romantic comedy with an all-Asian cast and an Asian-American lead, set against the stunning backdrop of Singapore.
Native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) accompanies her boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. While Rachel is excited and nervous about meeting Nick’s family, she has no idea about the extent of his family affluence and influence. Nick is the son of an obscenely wealthy family and one of Singapore’s most eligible bachelors.
Rachel becomes an instant target for Nick’s disapproving mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) and a host of jealous relatives and socialites. A series of adventures and misadventures follow as Rachel attends a never-ending stream of social events featuring over-the-top meals and décor.
At first covert, Eleanor’s behavior quickly becomes more overt; she informs Rachel that she has no pedigree and is simply not good enough for her son. A former girlfriend of Nick’s and her posse indulge in some mean-girl tactics, intended to intimidate Rachel. When Rachel’s confidence falters, she is propped up by Goh Peik Lin (Awkwafina), a hilarious college roommate, and her nouveau riche family.
From start to finish, I found myself immersed in the antics of these delightful and not-so-delightful characters. I particularly enjoyed the ending–a slight departure from the novel–but one that will linger in the memories of rom-com enthusiasts. And possibly pave the way for a sequel.
From my book review of Crazy Rich Asians: “A modern-day Romeo and Juliet story with dashes of the Kardashians, hints of Dallas and Falconcrest, and heavy doses of the snobbery and social rules found in Downton Abbey.” You can read more here.