I didn’t want to watch “Crazy rich Asians.” I tried to read the first book but gave up after a few chapters because it was obnoxious. It is filled with descriptions about how rich rich people are. What am I supposed to learn from that?
I also hated it that the first time Asians are represented on the big screen, it’s about the crazy rich. I can’t relate to them. Where are all my crazy poor, hardworking, discount-hunting Asian homies at?
But then my roommates were going to watch it and I thought, why the hell not. If nothing else, it’s to support the Asian cast (or to help the rich Asians become richer). I hope that if more people watch the movie, more Asian actors will get important roles in the future. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step forward.
To my surprise, I enjoyed the movie. It’s much less obnoxious than the book — I guess it’s easier to show wealth than to describe wealth. It’s also more relatable than I thought — rich Asians share the same filial duties and family traditions as the poor Asians. There are good laughs through the entire movie. The Cinderella-ish love story is so well done it made me want to fall in love. And Henry Golding is delicious. My roommates caught me googling him and were like: “Haven’t you already spent 45 minutes stalking this guy?”
It’s true that the movie creates a terribly wrong image about the Asians. One of my roommates asked after the movie: “Is it true that Asians in the US are that rich?” But misrepresentation is what Hollywood does. I don’t think this movie misrepresents Asians any more than other Hollywood movies represent Asians. At least in this movie, Asians get paid for it.