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Will Crazy Rich Asians Change the Face of American Movies?

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Crazy Rich Asians is a rom-com featuring an all Asian cast.

Crazy Rich Asians is a rom-com featuring an all Asian cast.

Crazy Rich Asians is a rom-com featuring an all Asian cast.

Katalina Garber, Radio Editor

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Crazy Rich Asians, released on August 15th, is the first Hollywood blockbuster film to feature and all Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club almost 25 years ago. It is also one of the few romantic comedies to feature a strong female lead.

Following in the footsteps of Black Panther, this film has been seen as one of the stepping stones towards Hollywood featuring more minorities as leading roles in movies. It has also allowed another culture of people to see themselves reflected on screen.

“I think they hit the nail on the head when it comes to…the pressures of growing up in the United States and having parents that grew up in a different country, and the clash between the two different cultures because that was basically my childhood. I was born here, I grew up here and I had more American values that didn’t always align with some of the more culturally Asian values that my parents had. There’s always that struggle between the two and I thought they really did a good job with displaying that cultural difference or struggle,” said Seewing Yee, history teacher.

To some, the film itself didn’t exactly represent them, but it still represented a culture that they were a part of and understood.

“I think [the movie] was pretty accurate, especially with the whole ‘ABC’ and born in China difference, and it was also sort of cool seeing some people speak in Cantonese. It wasn’t like, a direct connection, but there were things where I was like, ‘Hey, I get that’,” said Garion Nicdao (‘19).

For other students, the atmosphere and the story deeply resonated in them and incited many emotions.

“I loved the movie so much, I’ve seen it three times in theaters, twice on opening weekend. I started crying when the opening credits played the first time and I still don’t really know why, I think just the Asian styled music in the background was something I’d never expect to be played on the big screen. I also cried a lot when Rachel’s mom flew to Singapore after what went down at Colin and Araminta’s wedding,” said Jennifer Mei (‘20).

Crazy Rich Asians was also different in the way that they featured a strong and self-reliant female lead. Typically in the romantic comedy genre, the heroine is portrayed as a hot mess, who doesn’t really have her life all together. When placed in a situation in which she is out of place, she’ll also usually manage to embarrass herself, giving her opposers something to use against her. Crazy Rich Asians however, doesn’t follow these tropes.

The leading female, Rachel Chu, has her personal and professional life together, is in a healthy relationship, and manages to stay true to her own moral compass while navigating the glamorous world that she’s thrust into.

“There’s the cultural side of it, but there’s also the side of it where they do portray a strong female lead. She’s a game theory professor at NYU, she’s well educated and she’s kind of self made. [The film] showed her in a light that wasn’t like, ‘Oh, I have to do anything to appease his parents or make him happy’ she was strong, independent, smart, intellectual, and she fought for what she thought was right. I thought that was another very important layer to the story,” said Yee.

It’s still left to say if Crazy Rich Asians will incite the change of featuring minorities in major Hollywood films, but if its box office numbers have anything to say about it, maybe Hollywood will get the message and start what’s been long overdue.

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Will Crazy Rich Asians Change the Face of American Movies?