The buzziest new film of the week is Crazy Rich Asians, in part because it's a Hollywood rarity with an all-Asian leading cast. Critics are giving it strong reviews, with a 92% rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and audiences are even higher at 95%. The story line involves a native New Yorker (Rachel Wu) going to Singapore with her boyfriend (Nick Young) for a wedding. A sampling:
- The film "doesn't set out to make a big statement about inclusion, it simply tells an endearing story in an exceptional way," writes Adam Graham at the Detroit News. "And in so doing, it shows how great stories cross barriers and wind up enriching the world around us."
- Forget the hype and the movie milestone, writes Peter Hartlaub at the San Francisco Chronicle. This "isn’t just a good Hollywood movie for the Asian American population, and one that is overdue by about 24 years," he writes, a reference to the Joy Luck Club. "It’s a good movie, period." He does nitpick that it occasionally "travels off the rails," but the sins are forgivable.
- "Director Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel (the first of a trilogy) is bursting with energy and romance and sight gags and soapy melodrama," writes Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times. "There are some dramatic gut-punches, most of them dealing with class and culture warfare, but at its essence, 'Crazy Rich Asians' is an old-fashioned rom-com with classic archetypes." It is, he adds, "pure escapist fantasy fun."
- Less enthused is Kate Taylor at the Toronto Globe and Mail, who gives it just 2 of 4 stars. It's "bland," and the outcome is predictable, she writes. Plus, "a white viewer such as myself witnessing this overblown display may find themselves in that awkward territory where somebody else’s ethnic comedy leaves them feeling complicit in racial prejudice."
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