This Week's Review: "Crazy Rich Asians"

On August 25, I finally caught up with “Crazy Rich Asians,” which has been the surprise hit of the summer of 2018. I enjoyed most of the film, but I came away with reservations about its long-range significance.

In short, the film is another version of the Cinderella story, but with some twists. A young economics professor of humble origins falls in love with her Prince Charming, about whom she knows very little. He takes her to Singapore to meet his family and attend a wedding; she discovers that the family is “crazy rich.” and very protective of its wealth and social status. Misunderstandings abound and tears flow copiously.

The film has received considerable attention because of its almost exclusive use of Asian actors, something which has not occurred since “The Joy Luck Club,” a much better and more important film. We have to hope that audiences will not have to wait another quarter-century for another all-Asian cast.

I did not recognize any of the cast except Michelle Yeoh; she plays the reining matriarch of the Singapore family. This is a far cry from her martial arts films, but she rises to the occasion. The showdown Mahjong game between her and the professor is the best scene in the film; I just wish I understood the rules of that game.

I did enjoy most of the film, but I do wonder how significant it will seem after a decade or two. As for the Labor Day weekend, I have “Operation Finale” on my agenda.