‘Crazy Rich Asians’ shows new faces in Hollywood, features full Asian cast

While so many different cultures and nationalities exist all over the world, there is one thing that is truly universal: love. Everyone loves a good romance story, regardless of their race or skin color. Warner Bros.’ new romantic-comedy, “Crazy Rich Asians,” powered by ecstatic reviews and raking in over $25.2 million in just the first weekend, proves the power of diversity.

WARNING! Spoilers.

Taiwanese-American actress Constance Wu plays the Chinese-American Rachel Chu, an NYU economics professor. Her charming boyfriend of over a year, Nick Young (Henry Golding), invites her to be his date for his best friend Colin’s (Chris Pang) wedding in Singapore.

Upon her arrival to Singapore, Rachel realizes two things. One, Nick’s family is insanely wealthy. Two, Nick’s mother, Eleanor, hates her guts. Rachel is immediately pegged a commoner by the fabulously rich Singaporean family.

Despite this, Nick sees Rachel as priceless and has his heart set on marrying her. Rachel is thus thrust into the exclusive world of the filthy rich and must face all the obstacles that accompany dating the “Prince William of Asia.”

While the screenplay is filled with clichés and an all-too predictable plot, “Crazy Rich Asians” still manages to hold the viewer’s attention through the entirety of the two hours thanks to its impeccable acting and exquisite visuals.

With food montages to die for, and the most stunning and breathtaking wedding scene to top off the romantic film, the producers were not stretching it with the “Crazy Rich” part of the title. Filmed in both Singapore and Malaysia, the movie features various aerial overviews in an almost Great Gatsby-like manner of grandness and elegance.

A combination of hilarious and moving, “Crazy Rich Asians” is generally uplifting. Not everyone in the Young family is as serious and cold-fronted as Eleanor, as broken by a few funny aunties and a witty gay cousin played by Nico Santos. Most of the humor revolves around Asian-American actress Awkwafina’s unfiltered character, Peik Lin, who is Rachel’s old college roomate. Awkwafina is the film’s firecracker of hilarity and comic relief.

This movie does what romantic comedies do best: makes you smile, cry, laugh and root for the love. But “Crazy Rich Asians” is more than just a movie. It’s a movement.

The book-based romantic comedy has been hailed for promoting racial diversity in Hollywood, and rightfully so. Being the first movie in 25 years to feature an all-Asian cast, this film could lead to broadening the representation of Asians and Asian-Americans in all American films.

Like February’s Black Panther, minorities who have largely felt unseen are now being represented on the big screen. This is a cultural marker for Hollywood, long-criticized for “white-washing” Asian characters.

The diverse cast, ranging from Korean to Chinese to Vietnamese, play a variety of character types, defeating the “quiet Asian” stereotype by allowing Asians to lead the movie and play love interests rather than yet another local nerd or martial arts student. Diversity in the Western film industry is needed, and we should support it whenever we find it. Besides, the leads have great chemistry and the movie is both funny and tear-jerking, just as any romantic comedy should be, making the diverse film profoundly normalized.

While definitely not as rare as an Asian-dominated Hollywood movie, a captivating romantic comedy is indeed becoming quite infrequent. “Crazy Rich Asians” just may have checked off both. With a terrific cast, glamorous locations, witty jokes and a heartfelt story, “Crazy Rich Asians” deserves to be a crazy rich success.