Roger Thomas Review: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ — A great modern comic love story

Published 4:43 pm Tuesday, September 11, 2018

There are many elements of “Crazy Rich Asians” that I found appealing. Let’s start with the minor qualities of the film.

First, this film is incredibly colorful. Costume designers, production design crafters and hair and make-up artists had a huge selection to create a prism of brilliant shades.

Roger Thomas

Another appealing element to the film is the setting. I am not sure I have ever seen a film set mostly in Singapore.

However, after watching this film, I sure would like to visit. The cinematography highlights the city in the daylight, but even more after the sun sets. I am sure there are places in Singapore that are not as attractive as most of this Southwest country, but the settings shown in this film are outstanding in every way. The film offers a glimpse of a beautiful far away world.

Another appealing element of the film is the music. There is a lot of it, and it is all fun.

Then there is the film. I knew little of the plot when I went into the theatre. I felt like it would be a simple rom-com. Boy and girl fall in love, some obstacle gets in their way, and then some ending, probably a happy one, would happen, and it would be over. But there is so much more.

Then there are the two leads. Constance Wu plays an Asian-American young woman named Rachel Chu who has fallen in love with her boyfriend. Henry Golding plays the role of Nick Young, a man from Singapore who is living in New York and is smitten with his girlfriend Rachel.

The chemistry between these two actors builds as the film progresses.

In the opening scenes, Rachel and Nick climb on a plane and fly to Singapore. Nick is going to be his friend’s best man in a world foreign to Rachel. She goes along, and her destiny is to meet all the family members of Nick’s clan.

Overall, there are several plots happening during Rachel and Nick’s trip. I will not reveal any of the drama that happens in this often funny film.

However, I will admit that I had underestimated the film. In the first hour I had concluded that I knew exactly where the film was going. No surprises here.

But one of the greatest thrills of cinema is when a film goes in a different way than one expected. “Crazy Rich Asians” gave me a thrill because I was surprised. And because I loved that surprise so much, I ultimately was satisfied with the whole film.

Ultimately, the film is about love. There are a lot of conversations about it. There are challenges against it. There are traditions and new ideas. But either new or old ways, the ceremony, the celebration, the big event or intimate gathering, if love is not there, nothing else matters.

Sometimes I go to films excited, and get disappointed.

With “Crazy Rich Asians,” I had little expectations but all the technical elements, the beautiful colors, the music, the cast, the sights of Singapore and a whole lot more, I am glad I took a chance on “Crazy.”

At this point in 2018, this is the best cinematic and comedic love story of the year.

By the way, there is a wedding in the film, but I won’t reveal who gets married. However, I wonder if anyone has ever had a wedding like the one on screen. It was really something unique.

One final note: In the film is the appearance of Nico Santas as Oliver T’sien. Throughout the film I kept thinking, I know that actor from some other movie or television show.

I had to look him up and then I remembered, he is one of the hilarious stars of the great sitcom “Superstore.” It was good to see T’sien in other things and may he have many other roles.

Roger W. Thomas of Albemarle reviews films for The Stanly News & Press.