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First Reviews Say Crazy Rich Asians Is a Fun Hit That Brings Asian-American Identity to Life

Awkwafina in Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Both a cultural experience and romantic comedy, Crazy Rich Asian is an elegant, charming film that improves upon the source material and boasts a beyond-talented cast. I could wax poetically about how much I enjoyed it, but I think that with a film like this, hopefully paving the way for more like it in the future, it’s important to look at reviews from Asian and Asian-American film critics.

Emily Yoshida from Vulture: “Crazy Rich Asians is, at its heart, a fish-out-of-water story, and it has a lot more going for it than its literal money shots.”

Inkoo Kang from Slate: “Crazy Rich Asians isn’t really about crazy rich Asians anyway, so much as one American who gains a greater appreciation of where she comes from. It’s a great romance, but it’s most powerful as a story of her love with herself.”

Justin Chang from the LA Times: “In a better world, “Crazy Rich Asians” wouldn’t have to prove or represent anything but itself. But here we are. That pressure may at least partly explain the script’s anxious, eager-to-please quality, which feels both touchingly awkward and wholly appropriate to the giddy aspirational fairy tale it’s selling.”

This thread retweeted by Jen Yamato, which shares the experiences of one Asian woman about how she experienced racism at SDCC, but felt such validation watching a film that celebrated her.

Stephanie Foo from Vox: “I’m Malaysian, and nobody in my family is a billionaire. We do okay, but the only designer item I’ve gotten from my family is a knockoff Chloé handbag from Petaling Street. Which is why, if Crazy Rich Asians is all about money, it was a little surprising for me to burst into tears 10 minutes into the movie. […] watching Crazy Rich Asians made me wonder what I could have learned about being Asian-American if I’d seen this film when I was 13. How could it have changed my life and what I thought I deserved?”

Not a review, but co-signing this argument:

Crazy Rich Asians is part of a growing trend of seeing inclusion in Hollywood written by, directed by, and starring people of color. The fact that this is the first Asian-American-centered film since Joy Luck Club shows how we have really allowed ourselves to be comfortable with the status quo, even as it excluded others. Well, that time is changing, and Crazy Rich Asians is delivering the fun romantic comedy that is way too many years too late.

(image: Warner Bros.)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.