Monday, September 10, 2018

Crazy Rich Asians is a refreshing retelling of the classic Cinderella story with a few messages to Americans for good measure.

This weekend I saw Crazy Rich Asians, and I'm so glad I did. The film was funny, glamorous, romantic, and was a pretty solid retelling of the classic tale Cinderella. For those of you who haven't seen it and may be on the fence, there is way more to this movie than just wanting to see wealth on a scale that rivals Donald Trump's bathroom. Just to point out one thing, I thought the film was really sweet and effervescent (if that's even a word that is typically used in movie reviews).

Yes, it is opulent. There's so much to see in Singapore, and it's all on display from the major world-famous hotels to the urban tree-like structures that were so unusual in their habitat as to be featured in the BBC's Planet Earth II. In areas, the wealth is so amazing that it kind of makes you delirious realizing that people actually live this way.  Maybe it's good for the soul, because it makes you realize just how normal any of the nice things you have are, and that you shouldn't be ashamed of them because anything you have is going to pale in comparison to what the upper crust .01% actually enjoy.

It also has some great information about Asian culture, and it explores ideas that I'd never thought of as an American citizen. It turns the tables on the old American saying, "Eat your dinner because there are starving children in Africa" by having Asians say that about American children. In one scene, the main woman is called a banana, which means "yellow" on the outside and "white" on the inside. I'd never heard this saying and I thought it was unique (it's bound to become part of my vocabulary, however derogatory it actually sounds). But on a deeper note, there's a great idea...a message to American audiences who have a kind of narcissism when it comes to our culture: it's the thought that people in Asia don't see American life (and by extensions American people) as admirable. Americans put happiness first instead of family and obligations, and this "selfishness" keeps us from seeing what is truly important.

If you like Cinderella, you should go and see Crazy Rich Asians. It's a visual stimulation for the eyes, a heart-warming story, and it's a rare thing to see SO MANY ASIANS in a blockbuster in America like this. Watch the trailer below if you haven't seen it on t.v.


  1. Not my kind of movie but I'll check it out on NetFlix for the visuals.
    No surprise we're seen as selfish. After my last trip to London, I can say many also see us as extremely fat and over-indulgent.

  2. On American Dad a few years ago, Stan's wife was called a reverse banana because she's white on the outside and yellow on the inside because she was raised by Chinese parents.

  3. I've heard lots of good things about this one. It's so my kind of movie. I'll see it eventually.

  4. I want to see it, but I doubt I'll make it to the theater for it.

  5. I've been wanting to see this movie and you've convinced me I should. It even sounds more sophisticated that I'd anticipated, but then hey, it's based on a novel, and we writers tend to be smart and insightful. Right?