Almost all of Asian America has waited with bated breath for Crazy Rich Asians. Plan A has had its skepticism and doubt, but did the movie win them over and reveal that under the surface of every cynic is a romantic who yearns to believe again?
Millicent (an NYC-based indie filmmaker) and Quyen (an LA-based activist and actress) join Chris and Mark as special guests to discuss everything about Crazy Rich Asians, including expectations, emotional reactions, the portrayal of Asian men, the Awkwafina mini-controversy, and the issue of Henry Golding being cast as the male lead.
The following are edited excerpts from “Can ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ Soften Plan A’s Heart of Stone?”, the 41st episode of Plan A’s podcast, Escape From Plan A.
With great apprehension, I watched it on opening day. I was astonished that I was having such a visceral reaction to the film. I loved it. I cried so much, both in response to what I was seeing on the screen, but also as part of a bigger picture meta-response that a lot of Asian Americans have posted about having. Do I have issues with the film from a filmmaking standpoint? Yes, it’s not perfect…. But for me personally, emotions win. It made me proud to be Asian and I’ll never forget how the movie made me feel.
All I hoped was that I would watch the film and feel slightly differently about Henry Golding’s character and the lead male not being fully Asian. I wish that were the the case, but I walked out and didn’t feel any differently. And I feel that’s such a gargantuan thing relative to anything you may take with Awkwafina’s character.
There were definitely parts I found touching from a romantic comedy standpoint. I felt it was a very competent, well-shot, and well-made movie and a good-to-great romantic comedy. The parts with Rachel and her mother, especially the part with the mother describing her background and hardships, touched me because I’m a sucker for any family talk.
What I liked about Nick and Colin’s friendship is that I think with Asian guys, probably more so than Asian women, our closest friends tend to be other Asians because of social exclusion. So to see that Asian male friendship portrayed as something very positive and not as this Too Many Asians Syndrome that so many of us go through, was so great to see.