It won’t be long until the highly anticipated movie “Crazy Rich Asians” will hit theaters. The film, based on the popular novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan, has generated widespread excitement, particularly among Asian Americans.
The movie follows the life of down-to-earth Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), who travels to Singapore with her long-time boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) for a wedding, only to discover that Nick is like the “Prince Harry of Asia” hailing from one of Asia’s wealthiest families.
It’s the first Hollywood film in 25 years that feature Asian Americans in leading roles and has an all-Asian cast with actors from around the world. While the film is reminiscent of a typical “Meet the Parents” rom-com, “Crazy Rich Asians” shows Asians in a refreshing light.
For the most part, Asian men are perceived to be unattractive and short while Asian women are perceived to be submissive and fragile. Not in this movie though. The men are gorgeous and charismatic and the women are headstrong, fierce and independent. The movie doesn’t need to succumb to the typical stereotype of the Asian bookworm or martial arts master.
“Crazy Rich Asians” has high hopes for how it could not only promote and boost the image of the Asian American community, but how it could change the way Hollywood treats Asian American actors. If successful, this movie could help Hollywood move way from “whitewashing” roles and finally cast Asians as the appropriate lead.
In order to send a strong message, the cast and crew of “Crazy Rich Asians” made an effort to ensure the film avoided blind spots or cultural clichés. While this may deviate from Kwan’s original novel, it helps against spreading stereotypes about Asian men — and even women — that they have long struggled against.
“Crazy Rich Asians” hits theaters on August 15.
By: Maytinee Kramer