Crazy Rich Asians is the new romantic comedy from the guy who brought you Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, and G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Seriously, check out Jon M. Chu’s filmography.  It’s filled with a bunch of terrible movies and now this one.

The movie is based on a bestselling book and tells the story of Nick Young, heir to an enormous fortune, and his girlfriend, an American born Chinese woman named Rachel Chu.


This film is a romantic comedy so it’s likely you could explain the plot to me even if you haven’t seen the movie.  I’m going to try to avoid spoilers, but does it matter?  We all know the beats.

Action movies and romantic comedies are the two most similar genres in Hollywood.  In a romantic comedy there is only one central question: will they get together or won’t they.  In an action movie there is only one fundamental question: will they/he beat the bad guy or won’t he.

The answer to both questions is almost always, yes.  They both start out with an ordinary day that gets shaken up because of something.  In a romantic comedy, it’s usually meeting someone new, in an action movie it’s something blowing up.  Both types of films have people fighting against the odds.  Both contain a low moment where all seems lost.  And both (usually) give us the happy ending we want.

All that means is that enjoyment in a romantic comedy doesn’t come from the plot, it comes from the people.  Action movies and romantic comedies are more about characters and relationships than they are about what happens.

And Crazy Rich Asians has some great characters.  They wisely spend the first half of the movie introducing us to everyone and letting us see their world.


The acting is fantastic.  Every single performance in this movie is excellent.  Even Ken Jeong, who I love, but who can be a bit much at times.  He’s toned down and hilarious here.

Henry Golding

Henry plays Nick, and he does an excellent job.  Henry is able to capture a bit of pretention that would come from a rich upbringing and private boarding school, while still maintaining contact with Earth.

Constance Wu

She plays Rachel; she’s the star of this movie.  Constance does an excellent job with the myriad of emotions she goes through.  Romantic comedies are often hardest on the female lead because they have to carry the emotional weight of the film.  Constance shows that she’s more than capable of carrying a film.


Yep, that’s her name.  Well, her stage name.  Awkwafina plays Peik Lin, Rachel’s friend from college who lives in Singapore.  She is hilarious, and she steals any scene that she’s in.

Nico Santos

Nico plays Oliver, and he’s only around for three scenes, but he lights up the screen with each of those scenes. Nico is a brilliant and hilarious performer, who many of you will know from Superstore.  I forgot to single him out for praise there, so I’ll do it here.

P.S. That’s right, Ben Feldman I’m still not singling you out for praise because you have yet to admit that’s you at the end of American Pie.


This is a very solid movie.  You like the people, and it’s funny.  That’s the formula for making an excellent romantic comedy.  This one is very good.


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The Author

Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips is the author of several thriller and literary novels. His Bentley Books series introduced the world to sadistic serial killer Bentley Grimes, a villain of unbelievable cruelty and unimaginable coldness. His literary novels are populated with richly drawn characters struggling with issues that affect our society today, such as: homosexuality, alcoholism, family struggles, poverty, greed, and bigotry.

He is an avid sports fan as well as a lover of movies and television.

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