“Crazy Rich Asians” Has Been Making Movie History

Isabelle Yuen, Staff Writer

The groundbreaking movie, Crazy Rich Asians, featuring an all Asian cast has already topped the box offices three weeks in a row. The new release has been life changing for many of the actors, and has influenced the lives of many Asian Americans. The movie follows the romance of Nick Young and Rachel Chu as they travel to his hometown. The trip uncovers his hidden wealth and the struggle of Chu being accepted by Young’s traditional mother. Hollywood has not produced an all Asian and Asian American cast since Joy Luck Club in 1993. The film has been adapted from the book by Kevin Kwan, who has also written two following books to prolong the plot.

It is now a stepping stone for the increased representation of Asians in Hollywood. Henry Golding, who plays the male lead, Nick Young, has already received another important movie role. Golding will be starring in A Simple Favor alongside Blake Lively and Anna Kendrick. Crazy Rich Asians is the first major film Golding has starred in. Golding had no prior experience in acting and was only seen in travel shows.

The leading female lead, Constance Wu, has a backround in theater and has experience in the industry already. Wu has a main role in the show, Fresh Off The Boat, playing Jessica Huang. When the show premiered it was the first to display an Asian American family in 21 years. The television series is also based off the memoir Fresh Off The Boat, by Eddie Huang. The show follows an immigrant family as they get accustomed to the U.S. in the 90s.

Crazy Rich Asians  starts with the couple in New York, living a comfortable lifestyle in the city. But as the movie progresses, Rachel finds out about Nick’s family fortune hidden in Singapore. Rachel then has to adjust to the completely different lifestyle Nick has overseas, as she meets his successful family. The movie showcases Asian traditions and the importance of family. It also illustrates the contrasting cultures of Asian Americans and Asians overseas, as Rachel clashes with Nick’s very traditional mother.

Hollywood has a long history of “white- washing” ethnicities, from Breakfast at Tiffany’s Mickey Rooney, who plays a man of Asian descent, to West Side Story’s Natalie Wood, who portrays a Puerto Rican woman. The issue is still recognized today, as white actors are cast as a character originally made to be another ethnicity.

Theaters have not seen an all Asian cast in 25 years, until now, and the producers and cast of Crazy Rich Asians are trying to change that. The filmmakers received an impressive offer from Netflix, but ultimately turned it down. They wanted to make sure the film was exposed in Hollywood to make sure a difference was made, according to Time Magazine. The actors of the movie hope this will lead to more films about Asian Americans, according to Time Magazine.

Rapid success for this film has already led to the announcement of a sequel, which will be based on Kwan’s novel “China Rich Girlfriend”. The sequel will reveal more about Young’s cousin Astrid. It will also finalize the cliff hanger revealed in the first movie. Unfortunately the third novel is already owned by another company, and some issues will arise due to this.

The movie will leave you laughing and crying as Nick and Rachel overcome the ups and downs of their relationship overseas. It definitely lives up to its #1 box office rating, and will hopefully change your view on Asian representation in Hollywood.