The Lariat

Crazy Rich Asians

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Crazy Rich Asians

Courtesy of Ivanhoe Pictures

Courtesy of Ivanhoe Pictures

Courtesy of Ivanhoe Pictures

Courtesy of Ivanhoe Pictures

Kenzie Mikeska, Editor

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On August 15, 2018, Crazy Rich Asians hit the box office and was an instant success. In its 5 day opening, it made $35 million when it became available in 3,384 locations. However, this highly anticipated romantic comedy is not just a new, successful up-and-coming movie that will eventually leave the theaters and be available to rent on amazon movies for $4. Its impact goes beyond that. Crazy Rich Asians is the first big Hollywood picture with an all-Asian cast in 25 years, and there hasn’t been a movie near as successful since 1993’s “The Joy Luck Club”.

Crazy Rich Asians rotates around a young Asian-American Economics professor at NYU who is, unbeknownst to her, dating a member of one of the wealthiest families in Singapore. The movie is about the trial and tribulations she goes through while trying to earn respect and acceptance from his mother who expects him to stay in Singapore and take over the family business. The movie is cute with a heart-warming ending, as well as multiple humorous scenes that gives it its character. However, it isn’t the lovable characters nor the plot that gives it its significance. It’s the positive representation that it gives the Asian culture.

“One of the main things that made this movie different from other movies currently out would be the cast and the cultural introductions,” said senior Jenny Dinh. “Growing up with a Chinese heritage, it was interesting and refreshing to see how Kwan was able to portray it throughout the movie.”

Crazy Rich Asians introduced the general public to a culture that, when portrayed, is often represented in a degrading light (take Long Duk Dong in 16 Candles for example), meant to make fun rather than fairly represent the nuances of an often underrated, traditionally rich culture. It gives an ancient ideology a modern spin, relating it to the millenial youth while still tying in references to traditional values that make the Asian culture what it is, and what it has been for centuries.

“The movie made me proud of my Asian heritage, and being able to understand the inside jokes and references to Asian culture made me feel like I wasn’t alone in a country that often makes me feel that way,” said senior Judy Luu.

Crazy Rich Asians, in a way, remodeled Asian cultural stereotypes. It depicted a heritage that is generally acknowledged to be heavy in history, tradition and strict doctrine in a new way and added humor, adversity and heartfelt moments to make it relatable.

“I think the movie, although a bit exaggerated at times, was beautiful,” said senior Christine Luu. “It shows that Asians do love their culture and traditions. It shows that they are proud of who they are, and that pride is contagious.”

 

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