Social media is abuzz with early reactions to “Crazy Rich Asians” which recently held its Hollywood premiere at the TCL Chinese Theater in Los Angeles earlier this week.
A direct adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s international best-seller of the same name, “Crazy Rich Asians” carries gargantuan expectations as the first Hollywood studio film in 25 years to feature Asian Americans in leading roles.
Sat in THE liveliest crowd for a screening of #CrazyRichAsians last night. You would have thought that movie was filmed before a live studio audience—cheering, applause, gasps, and LOLs all throughout. Really enjoyed it.
— Emmanuel Cayanan (@EmanAboutTown) August 9, 2018
— smash (@cranberryjane) August 9, 2018
— Maren Ludwig (@jaylaw22) August 9, 2018
— cLee (@cleetwit) August 9, 2018
— Alex Shibutani (@AlexShibutani) August 8, 2018
I was star-struck meeting Michelle Yeoh! All I wanted to do was chat with her, but we had to pose instead. Such an odd profession!
— Ming-Na Wen (@MingNa) August 8, 2018
Just watched #CrazyRichAsians last night and I am so filled with pride. Finally a movie that made me feel badass, funny, and sophisticated while staying true to Asian culture. Even if you aren’t Asian, you will find yourself in these characters. SEE. THIS. MOVIE. SEE. THIS. MOVIE
— Ross Butler (@RossButler) August 8, 2018
— Geeks of Color (@GeeksOfColor) August 9, 2018
Pro tip: #CrazyRichAsians will make you hella hungry for dumplings so you should probably bring your own to the movie theater, you’re welcome
— jen yamato (@jenyamato) August 8, 2018
Can confirm that #CrazyRichAsians is the best studio romantic comedy in years
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) August 8, 2018
— Jimmy O. Yang (@FunnyAsianDude) August 9, 2018
The film currently holds an approval rating of 100% based on 19 reviews on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 8.2/10.
In her review of the film, Melissa Slaughter of Nerds of Color wrote: “What I got was a movie where I could see myself, and simultaneously be whisked away on a fantasy. When Nick and Rachel pig out on street food, I saw myself and my friends when we pig out on, well, Asian street food. When Rachel, with her Asian face, is shamed as an American foreigner, when she’s told she’s not enough, I saw myself. Her relationship with her Chinese mom is like my relationship with my Japanese American mom. When Awkwafina, Nico Santos, and Sonoya Mizuno were onscreen, I saw reflections of my friends.”
Time Out’s Danny Yu also praised the film, saying: “Seeing this kind of onscreen representation is incredibly satisfying, especially via Kwan’s rich page-turner, loaded with cattiness but also plenty of Asian diversity, from wholesome friends and wise confidantes to jealous mean girls and scheming parents.”
Slate’s Inkoo Kang was equally delighted: “Emotionally layered, culturally specific, and frequently hilarious, Crazy Rich is a transportive delight, with food montages to die for (the film offers a splendid showcase of Singapore’s justly celebrated street-food scene) and a wedding processional so exquisite I started crying at its sheer beauty.”
Meanwhile, Justin Chang of the L.A. Times pointed out the historical relevance of the film, calling it a “flawed but vital milestone.”
“It’s been 13 years since Memoirs of a Geisha, the last major studio picture to feature an all-Asian ensemble, and a full quarter-century since The Joy Luck Club, the last such production to grapple with the puzzle of contemporary Asian American identity. Those ridiculous statistics have saddled Crazy Rich Asians with equally ridiculous expectations; that future Asian-led projects are riding on this movie’s box-office success makes it awfully hard not to root for,” Chang wrote.
Brian Lowry of CNN called the film a “highly satisfying, decidedly old-fashioned romantic comedy, garnished with soapy elements and enough mouth-watering shots of food to inspire a big meal before or after.”
Molly Freeman of ScreenRant says, “Truly, Crazy Rich Asians is what studio romantic comedies should be, and hopefully, it will help usher in a new era for the genre, bringing more diverse stories to a revival of the big studio rom-com.”
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter described the film as a “thoroughly captivating exploration of the rarefied question of whether true love can conquer head-spinning wealth.”
“Crazy Rich Asians” is set to open in theaters on August 15.