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  • Writer's pictureBruce Klein

Crazy Rich Asians: A Heck of a Show

The movie, Crazy Rich Asians reminds me of an old fashioned fairy tale romance with a wonderful ending. Nick and Rachel meet in New York and fall in love. Nick (Henry Golding) takes Rachel (Constance Wu) to meet his family in Singapore. She is an Economics professor at NYU where Nick also teaches. She knows nothing of his family and by the end of act two she doesn’t want to be anywhere near his family.

Nick is smooth and polished. He is an aristocrat, but not at all arrogant. Being in America seems to have changed his outlook on people and the place he sees for himself in the world. Rachel is Chinese American. She was brought up in the US by her Chinese immigrant mother. She can speak Chinese, but she is Americanized. I’ve never met an Economics professor who talks and acts the way Rachel does. She seems more like a college student to me. Maybe she could be a literature professor, but she is not like any Economist I’ve ever known. But she is sensitive, bright and successful.

The family expects Nick to be heir to their long-held fortune. They expect him to run the family business, and marry a proper Chinese bride, not a foreign Chinese American. The extended family and their friends are an uproarious mixture of new rich and old money dating back to the 1880s when they fled China. They have a caboodle of money and they show it off. Judging by the movie, Singapore is a great place to be a party planner. Rachel is put on display in front of this crowd. Nick is used to the milieu but wants to get away from it.

The immediate family rejects Rachel. Nick’s mother is obvious about it, but his grandmother is reserved about it. There are plenty of characters in this rich circle. A gay “rainbow sheep,” different from a black sleep of the family, is a hoot. There are plenty of jealous young women that wanted Nick and are angry that some foreign girl is getting him. Nick and Rachel came to Singapore for the wedding of his closest friend. Nick is the best man. The wedding is spectacular and out does everything else we have seen to this point.

The movie is like a 1950s Hollywood romance picture. There are beautiful and lavish settings in Singapore. The new exotic tall buildings and beautiful waterfront are very romantic. It all looks like a modern royal city. It is perfect for the prince and his pauper foreign girlfriend. She is a lovely woman more beautiful than the other girls. (SPOILER) Although, this is a rom/com so it shouldn't be too much of a spoiler... at the end of the story, she is accepted as a princess. Think Sabrina, Cinderella or the King and I.

The movie takes shape when Nick and Rachel get off the plane and works its way into your heart. Before that, it looks like just another modern love story with some Chinese roots “throne” in. But it turns into a magical love story and shines in the end. It is the best movie I have seen in years. It’s a real winner with none of today’s movie profanity and violence. Just a thoroughly enjoyable tale told with humor and wit, and with just enough drama to move the story and get it where it’s going, i.e. to a happy ending. See it for the enjoyment and the nostalgia of old romance movies.

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