“Crazy Rich Asians” Earns Crazy Rich Applause

Sarah Liu, Writer

In an industry where success is defined by numbers, “Crazy Rich Asians” has proven to be a hit, not only in the box office, but also among audiences of all ages.

Since opening on August 15, the movie has brought in $188 million for Warner Bros and has scored a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Culturally, this movie marked a shift in the tides of Hollywood representation with the first all-Asian cast in over 25 years.  For Asian-American audiences in particular, this movie has created a newfound sense of pride in the community.

For some Asian-American students at PVHS, “Crazy Rich Asians” has reignited a love for their heritage. Between the setting of Singapore to certain scenes like the playing of the game mahjong and making dumplings, the film has made students proud to be Asian.

“This movie corroborated my love for my own culture. Growing up, I felt like I had to change my identity to ‘fit in’ with the typical American culture,” said senior Tiffany Min.

“Oftentimes growing up, I would be embarrassed if I acted ‘too Asian’ in public. By watching this movie, I felt like I did not need to hide myself and that America was truly celebrating who I was as a person and my identity.”

Based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel, the movie was received well by audiences since it was first announced, with the trailer garnering over 17 million views on YouTube.

“My initial reaction was excitement,” senior Austin Ota said. “I have always joked with my parents that Asians are never cast in Hollywood, so watching a whole movie specifically dedicated to our culture was definitely something I was looking forward to for a while.”

“Crazy Rich Asians” is the most successful romantic comedy movie in six years according to Forbes and is a result of movie studios recognizing the importance of on-screen diversity. This is also seen with the emergence of movies like “Black Panther,” which also became a cultural phenomenon and box office success.

Although “Crazy Rich Asians” has been considered groundbreaking, viewers believe that the movie is just a starting point to introducing non-Asian audiences to the Asian culture. Many viewers believe that it has attracted audiences of all demographics because of its all-inclusive message.

“I think this movie has been a success because of the great story it tells,” Ota said. “The nature of the movie makes it easy to watch for all demographics, and its great storytelling [and] themes are universal.”

Although the culture was a strongly emphasized part of the movie, the film appealed to a wider range of audiences because of its universal story.

“I feel like this movie explored more of the love aspect of humans,” Min said.

Meanwhile, Ota believes that the two-hour movie is just the tip of the iceberg when seen as a vehicle to share information.

“Asian culture is so unique and broad, and “Crazy Rich Asians” only scratches the surface of what is an amazing culture that everyone should learn about,” he said.

For Min, the movie impacted her personally, as she reflected on how people like her were portrayed in the entertainment industry.

““Crazy Rich Asians” has impacted me differently because it really showed me that people like me are worthy of being heard,” Min said.

“I think for so long, Asians were stereotyped as being shy, reserved nerds. But, I think the movie showed me that we are not [that] stereotype.”