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Crazy Rich Asians Review

29 Aug

A good chunk of this is nothing more than a mediocre rom com, which is great because we need Asian American-centric mediocre rom coms. The film is way too long and for the most part amounts to watching rich people party, oftentimes at the expense of actual story. It’s great if that’s your thing, but the issue is that key character dynamics don’t truly take root until a significant portion into the film. Take Gemma Chan’s Astrid, for instance, whose own relationship issues and friendship with Constance Wu’s Rachel might feel organic and substantial if given more time to breathe. The implications of the twist in the third act also need much more time to be explored. The dialogue additionally sometimes leaves something to be desired, and some characters are just irritating and pointless.

However—and a big however—the film saves itself with a predictable yet truly heartwarming final act that brings the most intriguing character dynamics and dilemmas to the forefront. Wu is really wonderful throughout at selling her character’s struggles to reconcile her identity, and she and Yeoh have a crackling chemistry that plays out to full effect later in the film. The dynamic between Wu’s character and her own mother is also the unsung gem of the film, even if it doesn’t get much screen time. Again, the ending does nothing new in terms of the genre, but it sticks to its guns and delivers a conclusion so clearly full of heart and passion that it’s difficult not to get won over.

GRADE: B

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