‘Crazy Rich Asians’ touted as Hollywood watershed

Lawrence Kim
August 20, 2018

CHANG: The two leads slip effortlessly into the kind of on-screen chemistry you've seen in any number of glossy studio romantic comedies, and "Crazy Rich Asians" gives them their own unique set of emotional complications.

Jon M Chu, director of "Crazy Rich Asians", the first Hollywood movie in a quarter of a century to feature an majority-Asian cast. The big standout here, though, is Awkwafina who plays Rachel's college buddy Peik Lin. "I think every child should feel worthy and feel loved", a tearful Wu told NBC News.

GROSS: After we take a short break, Ken Tucker will review the first album by British singer-songwriter SOPHIE, who produced music by Madonna and Lady Gaga.

"Crazy Rich Asians" is a contemporary romantic comedy based on the acclaimed worldwide bestseller by Kevin Kwan.

Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding and Constance Wu in "Crazy Rich Asians". The other, and far more arresting pageant, is of the film's Asian cast of various nationalities who, one after another, shame Hollywood's regular disinterest in them by being so effortlessly dazzling. This will become a touchstone romantic comedy, and it better not be another 25 years before there's another movie like it. It's a necessary push for inclusivity in the film industry. "Crazy Rich Asians" has much of the same DNA as a host of princess tales like "Cinderella", but it is a radical departure, too. "People are yearning for these stories, they are thirsty for these stories and these stories have value".

But "Crazy Rich Asians" soon finds its footing. "It's a milestone movie in that sense".

Let's be real, at least for me, when I'm watching a movie, I'm not thinking the whole time about how this movie could be a real watershed moment for Asian Americans, I'm going to be engrossed in the plot.

But Chieng, a stand up comic who spent several seasons on "The Daily Show", said he disagrees with that framing. Just because we're talking about Asian Americans - as opposed to white Americans - erasing our history, doesn't make it less problematic.

"Representation starts both in front of and behind the camera", said the 29-year-old actress and rapper, going on to claim that more racially or ethnically diverse films are hard to come by, because the screenwriters that are most often hired by Hollywood production companies are typically white, and they might find it hard to tell someone else's unique story. And while it has already been touted as a major win for Asian representation in Hollywood - a rare big United States studio film with an all-Asian cast - people like Naruse and Tiang, who have ties to the small, tight-knit local Singaporean literature (SingLit) community, have mixed feelings about it.

"One of the main reasons for justifying white washing is, 'Well, there aren't any [Asians]".

"I see Asian Americans, they leave these screenings and they're in tears". We are out here.

Crazy Rich Asians is in theaters now. It highlights those who are affected and unaffected by it, commenting on it, while allowing us to indulge in the fantasy of it for a while.

Some are already well known, some are totally new, but they collectively make an overwhelming impression: Hollywood, this is what you've been missing. If it doesn't stick, then ok.

"They get so many chances to fail at the box office", Santos added.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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