Overall Review: 9/10
Book to Movie Adaptation: 8/10
Would I Recommend: Yes
This post is delayed, mostly due to the fact that this blog didn’t exist when I sat down in the theater opening weekend, but since this is the month of love and this movie was a rom-com, I figured now was as good a time as any.
I bounced back and forth about doing movie reviews when I focus mostly on writing in this blog, but movies and books go hand in hand sometimes–especially with page to screen adaptations.
Like with Crazy Rich Asians: book one of a trilogy, full of vibrant characters with over-the-top lifestyles and personalities. Author Kevin Kwan has a fantastic gift of creating memorable characters that translate well to the big screen.
For those of you who haven’t heard about Crazy Rich Asians, please go pick up the dvd, I beg of you. The story revolves around Rachel Chu and her boyfriend, Nick Young. They both are professors at NYU and live a normal, American life. Until, Nick invites Rachel back home to Malaysia as his date for an old friend’s wedding. There, Rachel finds out that Nick’s family has money. Like fly everywhere, have an exclusive closet for just hand bags, and a live in nanny kind of money. And the rest of the plot unravels from there. His mother hates Rachel, thinking she’s only in it for the money. Rachel is confused by everything. There’s an extravagant wedding. People laugh. People cry. Money is spent.
Did the movie follow the book exactly? No, and I’m kind of glad (spoilers) especially with how the end of the book was compared to the end of the movie. In the book, Rachel and Nick just separate. There is no plane proposal…well, not exactly. He calls her mother and flys her out to see Rachel before she can board the plane home. There Rachel’s mother explains everything about her father. Things are emotional. Nick and Rachel get back together…and it sets everything up for the next book.
I feel like the movie handled it better, showing a far more connected mother/daughter relationship. Nick does call Rachel’s mother but it’s not this grand gesture on the tarmac of the airport. They wallow in self-pity. You see Rachel’s mother do, well, what she’s done all Rachel’s life: she took care of her, when she needed her mother most.
The airplane proposal and the majang game are far more dramatic than the book. And honestly I’m living for it. Rachel is tougher in the movie. She holds her own and from the opening credits to the closing moment with Nick’s mother, you feel that spark she has inside herself. Even in the scenes were everything seems for naught.
The movie conveys the drama and the beauty of opulent Asia. The wedding itself showed that. There was no way I could imagine what was shown in the film. No matter how strong the descriptions, sometimes you have to see the rows upon rows of pink flowers and the extravagant dresses.
All in all, Crazy Rich Asians has a strong female character (multiple strong female characters. Hell, I’d even say they were all strong female characters), a fantastic love story, gorgeous sets, and people of color standing mainstage. I loved every minute of it, even if it didn’t follow the book exactly. Even my boyfriend liked it so it’s a fantastic date night movie.