'Crazy Rich Asians': AAPI Heritage Month Must-See Movies

We celebrate "Crazy Rich Asians," an AAPI modern day hit comedy that was the first from a major Hollywood studio with a majority Asian cast in a quarter century.

Chuck Walton

By Chuck Walton

Crazy Rich Asians AAPI Heritage Month

© Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

The movie's directed by Jon M. Chu, co-written by Adele Lim, based on a book by Kevin Kwan, and stars a nearly all-Asian cast. We're proud to highlight the 2018 critical and commercial hit "Crazy Rich Asians," a landmark AAPI film.

The Movie

In many ways, "Crazy Rich Asians" (watch trailer here) is a modern-day romantic comedy fable, and/or wealth-laden, light on its feet soap opera. An Asian American professor accompanies her boyfriend to his best friend's wedding in his native Singapore. There she discovers that her beau is actually mega rich, and he's also one of the country's most desired bachelors. Further, he plans to propose to her.

© Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

© Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

It's not quite a cinderella story though – yet. While she does have a close bff in-country to help her navigate her would-be fiancée's complicated family and friends, it's going to take a miracle to help her win over her man's difficult mother. Tradition, history, social status, and mahjong will all play a part in the end, with lots of fun sidebars and secondary plots.

The key ingredient here is the A-list cast playing the parts. Constance Wu and Henry Golding are the central couple, and they're both outstanding. Michelle Yeoh as the matriarch is both icy and human at the same time. Awkwafina lends her usual confidence and comedy to liven up the proceedings. Gemma Chan appears as the leading man's beautiful cousin, navigating her own turbulent relationship. And comedians Ken Jeong and Jimmy O. Yang add more laughs alongside the elegant set pieces.

The AAPI Connection
© Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

© Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

As mentioned, "Crazy Rich Asians" features AAPI talent across the boards, in front of and behind the camera. It's also the first hit movie since 1993's "The Joy Luck Club" to feature a majority Asian cast in a modern setting. This cast would go on to win the top Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance. The film would earn $238.5 million on its $30 million budget.

"China Rich Girlfriend" and "Rich People Problems," the follow-up novels, are already in film development.

Why You Should See It
 © Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

© Warner Bros. Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

Now more than ever is a time for entertainment that brings smiles and celebrates Asian culture. "Crazy Rich Asians" is opulent and elegant and filled to the brim with charisma and talent. It's a fairy tale with genuine heart, humor and feeling, and another AAPI classic to seek out and treasure.

Did You Know

2018's "Crazy Rich Asians," an AAPI success with over a quarter of a billion dollars in world-wide receipts, was the most profitable of any rom com in over 10 years.

About the Author

Chuck Walton

Chuck Walton

Chuck is an editor/writer who's worked for NCM, Fandango, Movies.com, MediaTrip, Hollywood.com and Newsweek. His favorite movie is "Jaws." He's definitely a dog guy.

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