Director: Jon M. Chu
Writers: Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim
Starring: Constance Wu, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Henry Golding, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, and Michelle Yeoh
From Jon M. Chu who gave us the cinematic classic “Jem and the Holograms” – a movie that performed so poorly at the box office it was pulled from theaters after the first week of release – comes “Crazy Rich Asians” a romantic comedy with a music videoesque fellating of wealth and opulence. Given that fact that Chu directed the film should be no surprise because Chu’s MO appears to be the glorified music video.
The ultimate failing of “Crazy Rich Asians” is the same problem that “X-Men: The Last Stand” had; two narratives that would make a decent picture individually, but when woven together are tantamount to antithetical. At least in this movie, the two plots are clearly delineated into an A story and a B story, but it still runs into the problem that running both of the stories end up doing a disservice to each other. The A plot is a fairly standard romantic comedy, while the B plot is a melodramatic extramarital affair story that is a different movie. Although the film attempts to converge the two narrative threads; it fails to capitalize on the bond that they tried to establish between two of the principal characters because the break up happens too late in the third act (if you think that is a spoiler, you know nothing about romantic comedies) to utilize what they were trying to establish in the one scene where the two plots come anywhere close to coming together.
Overall “Crazy Rich Asians” is a fine picture, even though Ken Jeong was criminally underutilized being relegated to like one scene. It was fine rom-com, not really a revelation for the genre but a decent movie.