Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians

2018, PG-13, 120 min. Directed by Jon M. Chu. Starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Ken Jeong, Nico Santos, Harry Shum Jr., Awkwafina, Sonoya Mizuno.

REVIEWED By Kimberley Jones, Fri., Aug. 17, 2018

A couple splits dessert at a New York cafe. Both university professors, they’ve only been dating a year, but they’re in love, so he’s decided to invite her to attend a wedding back home with him. Someone else at the cafe overhears them – someone nicknamed “Radio Free Asia” for her ability to move information – and this someone swiftly fires off a few texts. Before the happy couple has even paid their bill, all of Southeast Asia seems to know that Nick Young (Golding), the favorite son of a Singapore family dynasty, is bringing his ABC girlfriend Rachel Chu (Wu) home to meet Mom.

Kevin Kwan used footnotes in his addictive bestseller Crazy Rich Asians to explain the cultural mores, the dizzying social strata, the catty shorthand of this milieu. The script by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim isn’t as explicitly instructive, but there’s ample context clues in the posh set’s sniffs at Rachel for being American-born Chinese, and the icy glares of Nick’s mom (Yeoh, luminous, and lethal) at this interloper for nabbing her son, Singapore’s most coveted bachelor.

Of course Rachel doesn’t know any of this going in – Nick has divulged very little about his crazy rich relations – and so as she arrives in Singapore, she moves in a parallel track with the audience in discovering just how crazy rich (like, stupid rich). Crazy Rich Asians may be steeped in Asian cultures, but it satisfies that very American pastime of simultaneously deriding and ogling the conspicuous consumption of the one-percent, and it gets some wickedly funny jabs in at the fabulously wealthy. But it isn’t mean-spirited. Rather, Crazy Rich Asians’ prevailing mood is one of joyfulness. I got a contact high.

Director Jon M. Chu previously tried his hand at a number of genres in a string of profitable but middling films, most of them sequels (two Step Up movies, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Now You See Me 2). Romantic comedy, turns out, fits him like a glove. He brings a bouncy energy to the genre’s tropes, dispatching “dressing room montage” and “heart-melting declaration of love” like a pro – and with distinctly more visual verve than usually attends the genre. As for rom-com’s standard-issue mouthy best friend? You couldn’t do better than Awkwafina, playing Rachel’s old college roommate and hilariously proving that “nouveau riche” translates to every culture.

That Midas touch with casting extends to the rest of Crazy Rich Asians’ international mélange of actors, who make lasting impressions in parts inevitably abbreviated from the book. Gemma Chan, as Nick’s placid-surface/roiling-depths cousin Astrid, is exquisite, and Nico Santos makes for an enjoyably dishy Oliver, a cousin from one of the family tree’s droopier branches. Playing the leading man, Golding, a model and travel show host in his first big acting gig, doesn’t have a lot to work with, but ably performs his required duties, which are to be devoted, honorable, and swoon-worthy. And Wu quite simply is a stunner. Best known for playing the tough-love matriarch from ABC’s Fresh off the Boat, she betters the book version of Rachel by making her earthier, steelier, and more playful. One of Rachel’s subplots has been dramatically condensed from the book, part of an overall smart snipping to keep the focus on Rachel’s fish-out-of-water story. That means a certain actor doesn’t even make an appearance until a twinkling cameo at film’s end – a sure sign of the filmmakers’ confidence a sequel is coming. To which I say: More, please, yes.

Showtimes

Mon., Sept. 24

12:50, 3:50, 6:00, 10:00

Tue., Sept. 25

3:50, 6:00, 10:00
AFA 12:50

Wed., Sept. 26

12:50, 3:50, 6:00, 10:00

Thu., Sept. 27

11:00am, 2:00, 5:15

Mon., Sept. 24

12:00, 3:00, 6:00

Tue., Sept. 25

11:30am, 3:10, 7:00

Wed., Sept. 26

7:00

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Mon., Sept. 24

12:00, 3:05, 7:55, 10:35

Tue., Sept. 25

3:15, 6:20, 10:00
AFA 12:00

Wed., Sept. 26

12:10, 3:15, 6:20, 9:30

Alamo Drafthouse Village

2700 W. Anderson Ste 701, 512/861-7030, drafthouse.com

Tuesday matinee Baby Day shows (first show of the day) are intended for parents and their children younger than 6. Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Mon., Sept. 24

12:15, 2:50, 6:00, 9:05

Tue., Sept. 25

3:55, 6:00, 9:05
AFA 12:20

Wed., Sept. 26

12:25, 3:50, 9:30

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 12:50, 3:50, 6:50

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 12:50, 3:50

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 12:50, 3:50

Thu., Sept. 27

CC/DVS 12:50, 3:50

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 1:00, 4:05, 7:10, 10:15

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 1:00, 4:05, 7:10, 10:15

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 1:00, 4:05, 7:10, 10:15

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 12:40, 3:40, 6:40, 9:50

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 12:40, 3:40, 6:40, 9:50

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 12:40, 3:40, 6:40, 9:50

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 12:10, 3:30, 6:40, 9:40

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 12:10, 3:30, 6:40, 9:40

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 12:10, 3:30, 6:40, 9:40

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 1:05, 6:55

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 1:05, 6:55

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 1:05, 6:55

Thu., Sept. 27

digital 1:05

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 1:05, 4:00, 6:50, 9:40

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 1:05, 4:00, 6:50, 9:40

Wed., Sept. 26

digital 1:05, 4:00, 6:50, 9:40

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Mon., Sept. 24

digital 12:00, 6:00

Tue., Sept. 25

digital 12:00, 6:00

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Mon., Sept. 24

1:15, 4:05, 7:05, 9:55

Tue., Sept. 25

1:15, 4:05, 7:05, 9:55

Wed., Sept. 26

1:15, 4:05, 7:05, 9:55

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Mon., Sept. 24

12:05, 3:00, 5:45, 8:35

Tue., Sept. 25

12:05, 3:00, 5:45, 8:35

Wed., Sept. 26

11:00am, 9:35

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Mon., Sept. 24

CC 2:30, 5:45, 9:00

Tue., Sept. 25

CC 2:30, 5:45, 9:00

Wed., Sept. 26

CC 2:30, 5:45, 9:00

Thu., Sept. 27

CC 6:00, 9:00

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Mon., Sept. 24

3:30, 10:10
CC/DL/HI 3:30, 10:10

Tue., Sept. 25

3:30, 10:10
CC/DL/HI 3:30, 10:10

Wed., Sept. 26

3:30, 10:10
CC/DL/HI 3:30, 10:10

Thu., Sept. 27

3:30
CC/DL/HI 3:30, 10:10

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 12:25, 3:30, 7:00, 10:05

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 12:25, 3:30, 7:00, 10:05

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 12:25, 3:30, 7:00, 10:05

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Mon., Sept. 24

CC 4:50, 7:15

Tue., Sept. 25

CC 4:50, 7:15

Wed., Sept. 26

CC 4:50, 7:15

Thu., Sept. 27

CC 4:50, 7:15

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 3:30, 6:45

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 3:30, 6:45

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 3:30, 6:45

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 1:20, 4:30, 7:30, 10:25

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 1:20, 4:30, 7:30, 10:25

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 1:20, 4:30, 7:30, 10:25

Thu., Sept. 27

CC/DVS 1:20, 4:30, 7:30, 10:25

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Mon., Sept. 24

11:45am, 3:00, 6:00, 9:15

Tue., Sept. 25

11:45am, 3:00, 6:00, 9:15

Wed., Sept. 26

11:45am, 3:00, 6:00, 9:15

Thu., Sept. 27

11:45am, 3:00, 6:00, 9:15

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Mon., Sept. 24

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

Tue., Sept. 25

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

Wed., Sept. 26

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

Thu., Sept. 27

12:00, 3:15, 6:30, 9:45

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Mon., Sept. 24

9:50am, 12:55, 4:00, 7:15, 10:05

Tue., Sept. 25

9:50am, 12:55, 4:00, 7:15, 10:05

Wed., Sept. 26

9:50am, 12:55, 4:00, 7:15, 10:05

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Mon., Sept. 24

12:45, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:25

Tue., Sept. 25

12:45, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:25

Wed., Sept. 26

12:45, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00, 9:25

Thu., Sept. 27

12:45, 3:00, 5:00, 7:00

Mon., Sept. 24

4:15, 6:45, 10:00

Tue., Sept. 25

4:15, 6:45, 10:00

Wed., Sept. 26

4:15, 10:00

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Mon., Sept. 24

12:45, 4:00, 7:15, 10:15

Tue., Sept. 25

12:45, 4:00, 7:15, 10:15

Wed., Sept. 26

12:45, 4:00, 7:15, 10:15

Thu., Sept. 27

12:45, 4:00, 7:15, 10:15

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Mon., Sept. 24

CC/DVS 12:15, 1:45, 4:30, 6:25, 9:40

Tue., Sept. 25

CC/DVS 12:15, 1:45, 4:30, 6:25, 9:40

Wed., Sept. 26

CC/DVS 12:15, 1:45, 4:30, 6:25, 9:40

Thu., Sept. 27

CC/DVS 12:15, 1:45, 4:30, 7:15, 10:00

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Crazy Rich Asians, Jon M. Chu, Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Ken Jeong, Nico Santos, Harry Shum Jr., Awkwafina, Sonoya Mizuno

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