MOVIE REVIEW | “Crazy Rich Asians”

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By DARLA HIGGINS
Contributing Writer

Crazy Rich Asians begins with a premise that’s pretty hard to believe but is never fully explained.

Protagonist Rachel Chu, an NYU economics professor, has been dating a man named Nick Young for a year. Nick comes from a super-rich family back in China – and he’s super-famous. (Not to mention super-cute.)

Somehow, Rachel is clueless about all of this. (Well, she apparently knows he’s cute.) But she has no idea that the man she’s serious about is one of the most sought-after bachelors in all the land.

That’s like telling a friend, “I’m dating a man named Leonardo DiCaprio. I don’t know what he does for a living, but things are going really well.”

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Rachel doesn’t find out that she’s dating THE Nick Young until he takes her to Singapore to meet his not-so-nice family. They are suspicious of her, due to all of their money and obnoxiously excessive lifestyles. One of them actually asks, “What is Rachel bringing to the table?”

Then there’s Nick’s mom, who doesn’t even pretend to be polite. In one scene, she sneers at Rachel and says, “Pursuing one’s passion – how American.” Not a compliment. But lest there’s any confusion, Mommy Dearest later puts it this way: “You will never be enough.”

So yes, the plot is basically what you might find on the Hallmark Channel, but there are several laugh-out-loud moments in this light rom-com.

One example: When Rachel touches down in the posh surroundings of Singapore, she says, “I can’t believe this airport has a butterfly garden and a movie theater. JFK is just salmonella and despair.”

The movie, based on the popular novel by the same name, apparently wants viewers to be awed by all of the Chinese wealth on display. Some of us don’t care much about that – but we can still appreciate a sweet love story.

Crazy Rich Asians is rated PG-13 and is 2 hours and 1 minute long. For showtimes, see the Marshall Cinema ad on this page or go to Jimplecute1848.com.

 

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