I’ve been MIA for weeks now. After what seems to be an eternity of mess and work, I finally made it to the cinema to watch Crazy Rich Asians. There’s nothing better than some romantic comedy to put your spirits up after so much going on. Now I have to redo all my plans for the blog, and that will take some time. I just hope that I can go back to normalcy next week. But enough about me being MIA, and let’s talk about Crazy Rich Asians [The Book Depository] [Waterstones]! I haven’t read the book, so I can’t compare the movie with it. It’s very much what you’d expect from a romantic comedy (you know there will be a happy ending). However, there’re many funny sketches, and it makes you think. Plus, all the fashion in the movie is just astonishing.
First things first: SPOILERS. This post contains massive spoilers of the film. If you’re planning to watch the movie, please refrain from reading further. But if you don’t mind, please keep it up!
Rachel and Nick are a happy couple. However, Rachel has no idea of Nick’s origins. His family is crazy wealthy, but he hasn’t told her about that. Rachel is an economics professor at University. She specializes in psychology and games. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’ll need her skills to gain Nick’s mother’s approval. Nick confesses that he’s crazy rich when they take the plane to Singapore. He invites her to a wedding of his best friend, and to meet his family. Little she knows that she’s about to start a little battle.
Rachel is a sweet and charming girl. She’s intelligent, an American of Asian descent. Nick, on the other side, is a wealthy Singaporean “prince” who was educated in London. He had the best of the best. Rachel was raised by a working single mother who did her best to give to her daughter the best opportunity. So, you can see that culture shock is brewing here.
Colin, Nick’s best friend, is going to marry Araminta. They pick the couple at the airport and have a lovely night together. After that, Rachel goes to visit a friend from University, Peik Lin. Peik Lin is quirky, but her family is even more. She’s also rich, but not as much as Nick’s family (they’re incredibly crazy rich). When Peik Lin realizes who Rachel’s boyfriend is, she tells her all about the family. And, she makes her change her dress. A cheap red dress won’t make any impression, so Peik Lin fishes from her own wardrobe and turns Rachel into a fashionable goddess. However, that won’t be enough to impress Nick’s mother.
Eleanor is very strict and is sick of gold digging individuals. She’s tough and wants a particular path for her kid. And that doesn’t include a nobody from the United States. Rachel will have to make her fall in her graces as she battles all the envious women that want Nick. When she goes to Araminta’s bachelorette party, she has to deal with nasty envy in the form of a dead fish in her room, and offensive comments all over. Luckily, Nick’s cousin Astrid bonds with her. Not only she helps her to bury the fish, but she also tells her that her life isn’t perfect since her husband is having an affair.
After feeling defeated by Eleanor, Rachel ends up talking to Peik Lin. She’s thinking about letting it go. However, her friend convinces her to fight using her skills. So, instead of shying away from the battle, she decides to show her worth. The day of Nick’s friends’ wedding, Peik Lin and some friends help her dress in an unusual dress that takes the breath away. However, despite doing her best, Eleanor strikes back during the wedding’s party. She has investigated Rachel’s family and has discovered that her mother runs away while being pregnant. She went to the US despite being married, pregnant with the child of another man.
Defeated, Rachel ends up at Peik Lin’s home. When her mother finally arrives thanks to Nick, she reveals the truth. Rachel’s mother’s husband abused her. She had an affair with a man she loved, but when she got pregnant, she panicked and fled. She was scared that he would kill them both. That’s why she never contacted her love, to keep them both save.
Despite Nick proposing when they finally meet, she turns him down. He’s going to leave everything behind just to stay with her. However, before returning to the US Rachel meets with Eleanor and tells her that she put Nick in a tight position. If he chooses Rachel, he’ll lose his family. If he wants his mother, he’ll end up resenting her. That’s why she turned him down. While they play Mahjong and Rachel gives Eleanor a lesson, we can finally see Rachel’s true skills. After the play, and leaving Eleanor defeated, Rachel joins her mother, and they go away. When they both take the plane, something amazing happens. Eleanor had gone to see Nick talk to him. She gives him her ring so that he can propose to Rachel.
Nick ends up proposing to Rachel again. But this time the environment is entirely different. They’re in a plane, in the economy class. While Rachel is going to her seat, Nick tells her amazing things until he finally proposes and gives her his mother’s ring. This is a massive statement of acceptance from Eleanor, and this time Rachel accepts.
This romantic comedy was plenty of funny moments. But also it put on the table some interesting questions. One of them is racism. When Eleanor and her family arrive in London for a trip, the concierges of the hotel turn her down because of being Chinese. She’s forced to call her husband for help, who finally buys the hotel. When Eleanor and his family enter the hotel again, she’s the new owner. (And this happens in what seems half an hour.) She’s used to be the victim of racism when she goes to the West. However, we can see how tables turn when she confronts Rachel. Despite Rachel being Asian, Eleanor ends up discriminating her for being American. It poses an interesting light on stereotypes in both situations.
The white concierges see Eleanor and her family not as wealthy individuals, but as a bad stereotype of Asians. Hence, they send them to “some hotel in China Town.” Eleanor sees Rachel as a gold-digger American who has no respect for anything, nor is capable of learning anything new. Again, a stereotype. In viewing both on screen, you are bound to ask yourself about what value do stereotypes have when we see them both smashed during the movie.
As it turned out, I loved Peik Lin. She’s quirky, funny, and incredibly odd. But she has a funky fashion style that I love. I know that she’s playing as the weird-weird-best-friend-of-the-bride stereotype, but I liked her a lot. (Yes, as it turns out, the movie is full of another type of stereotypes that you can find in a romantic film.) She’s the crazy type who will tell you how good or bad you’re doing. And she’ll do it with humor and quirky style. She’s the one who ends up helping Rachel dress, so, she has a right eye for fashion.
All in all, I loved this movie so much that I decided to take a buzzfeed quiz and see who I got. It was hilarious because I ended up with Peik Lin as a result, which doesn’t surprise me that much. I liked her style a lot, so, I guess it was fate.
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Copyright: Images on this post (C) Crazy Rich Asians (C) Warner Bros / Screenshot from Buzzfeed / Memes & Gifs (C) by their owners