10 Facts About Crazy Rich Asians, The Hollywood Movie Set in S’pore

Image: YouTube

Foreigners have always had a weird obsession with Asians, whether it’s memes like this…

Image: toomulticultural.blogspot.com

Or this

Image: Meme Center

But it seems that their unhealthy obsession with us yellow-skinned people has now transcended to a whole new level, with Hollywood adapting an actual movie about us.

Called Crazy, Rich Asians, it’s pretty much as the name implies.

Which isn’t exactly good for our image, but hey to heck with that. It’s HOLLYWOOD.

1. It’s adapted from a literary work

Crazy Rich Asians is a 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan that became a fast best-seller, with books flying off the stores like pancake-flavoured buns from McDonald’s.

Image: Amazon.ca

And as every popular book would invariably spawn, sequels soon followed, with China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems churning out in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

Image: Amazon
Image: Amazon

And like every decently marketed book on the shelves, it was bound to be snapped up by some thirsty film producers at some point. And that leads to the next point…

2. Release date

Helmed by director Jon M Chu, the film adaptation’s set to be released on 22 August 2018 in Singapore.

Image: Wikipedia

And honestly, we can’t wait, because we always appreciate foreigners reminding us of just how crazy (rich) we actually are.

Yeah.

3. Film synopsis

Now, every good movie write-up has something in common:

A film synopsis.

As such, in order to trick you guys into thinking this is an actual good write-up, I’ve kindly included a film synopsis which I totally plagiarised from Wikipedia.

You’re welcome.

Synopsis:

Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. She’s also surprised to learn that Nick’s family is extremely wealthy and he’s considered one of the country’s most eligible bachelors. Thrust into the spotlight, Rachel must now contend with jealous socialites, quirky relatives and something far, far worse — Nick’s disapproving mother.

Well, for one thing…

It does sound Asian enough.

#everykdramaplotevar

Image: Tenor GIF Keyboard

4. Trailer

And you wanna know what’s the second thing to determine a good movie write-up?

A trailer.

So enjoy this high-production movie trailer we had no part whatsoever in but still inserted in for ‘professional’ purposes anyway.

Yeah, it’s high-production alright.

Image: Giphy

5. Cast members

But of course, a movie can have all the right essentials: director, script, cinematographer, water boys, but if the actors act like this guy…

You know you’re better off shelling those 8 bucks on something else. Like a frappe. Mmmm.

But it seems that this time around, your money might be well-invested.

Main characters

  • Constance Wu as Rachel Chu, Nick’s longtime girlfriend and Kerry’s daughter
  • Henry Golding as Nick Young, Rachel’s longtime boyfriend and Phillip and Eleanor’s son

Nick’s family

  • Gemma Chan as Astrid Leong-Teo, Nick’s cousin, Charlie’s ex-fiancée and Michael’s wife
  • Lisa Lu as Shang Su Yi, Nick’s grandmother and the matriarch of the family
  • Michelle Yeoh as Eleanor Sung-Young, Nick’s domineering mother and Phillip’s wife.
  • Ronny Chieng as Eddie Cheng, Nick’s cousin and Fiona’s husband
  • Victoria Loke as Fiona Tung-Cheng, Eddie’s wife from Hong Kong and Nick’s cousin-in-law
  • Remy Hii as Alistair Cheng, Eddie’s brother and Nick and Astrid’s cousin from Hong Kong
  • Nico Santos as Oliver T’sien, Nick’s second cousin
  • Selena Tan as Alexandra ‘Alix’ Young, Su Yi’s youngest child
  • Janice Koh as Felicity Young, Astrid’s mother and Su Yi’s eldest child
  • Rachel’s family and friends
  • Tan Kheng Hua as Kerry Chu, Rachel’s mother
  • Awkwafina as Goh Peik Lin, Rachel’s Singaporean college best friend and Wye Mun’s daughter
  • Ken Jeong as Goh Wye Mun, Peik Lin’s wealthy father
  • Koh Chieng Mun as Peik Lin’s mother, Neena

Nick’s friends

  • Chris Pang as Colin Khoo, Nick’s childhood best friend and Araminta’s fiancé.
  • Sonoya Mizuno as Araminta Lee, Colin’s fiancée
  • Jimmy O. Yang as Bernard Tai, Carol’s son and Nick and Colin’s former classmate[7]
  • Jing Lusi as Amanda “Mandy” Ling, New York socialite and Nick’s former girlfriend

Other characters

  • Harry Shum Jr. as Charlie Wu, Astrid’s ex-fiancé
  • Pierre Png as Michael Teo, Astrid’s husband
  • Fiona Xie as Kitty Pong, Alistair’s girlfriend and Hong Kong “soap opera” star
  • Amy Cheng as Jacqueline Ling, Mandy’s heiress mother
  • Carmen Soo in an undisclosed role
  • Kris Aquino in an undisclosed role
  • Xiaxue in an undisclosed role

Wait, Xiaxue is in it? Need to buy the tickets. NOW.

6. Singapore pride

And guess what, we’ll be seeing some familiar faces on silver screens around the world.

Local veteran Tan Kheng Hua will be playing Kerry Chu, the female lead’s mother.

Image: Savour BlackBookAsia

Pierre Png, on the other hand, will be playing Michael Teo, Astrid’s husband.

And evergreen hottie Fiona Xie will be taking on the role of Kitty Pong, Alistair’s girlfriend and Hong Kong “soap opera” star.

Last but not least, as mentioned, Singaporean influencer Xiaxue will also be making an appearance, although her role’s yet to be disclosed.

7. Ken Jeong and Michelle Yeoh

Also, we can’t possibly forget about the two fan-favourites who are all set to highlight the silver screen.

Introducing funnyman Ken Jeong, who’ll be playing Goh Wye Mun, Peik Lin’s wealthy father.

Image: StandUpLive

And we also have martial-arts-diva-turned-Star-Trek-captain Michelle Yeoh, who’ll be playing the role of Eleanor Sung-Young, Nick’s domineering mother and Phillip’s wife.

Image: Boston Herald

Expect some witty humour here and there, and although we’ll be hoping for Michelle Yeoh to break out some fancy flicks, I guess we’ll have to settle for her acting chops, which are way more than sufficient anyway.

8. Controversy

However, it seems that the film has met its fair share of criticism, and I’m not talking about its less than complimentary title. Rather I’m talking about its casting, which according to certain markets, lacked ethnic diversity.

Some, for example, ridiculed the casting of biracial actor Henry Golding (who’s actually of Malaysian Iban and English descent) as titular character Nick Young (who’s of Chinese Singaporean heritage). And it didn’t help that Korean American actress Jamie Chung, who had auditioned for a role but was supposedly turned down for not being “ethnically Chinese”, slammed the decision.

“That is some bullshit. Where do you draw the line to be ethnically conscious? But there’re so many loopholes…”

She, however, apologised later on.

Golding later expressed that he was “hurt” by the comments.

“I’ve lived 16, 17 years of my life in Asia, and that’s most of my life. I was born in Asia, I’ve lived cultures that are synonymous with Asian culture, but it’s still not Asian enough for some people. Where are the boundaries? Where are the lines drawn for saying that you cannot play this character because you’re not fully Asian?”

Some, on the other hand, criticised the film for not correctly depicting the race representation of Singapore, as well as featuring accents that aren’t Singlish in a country where Singlish is supposed to be the “primary” language.

Well…

Just proves that it’s impossible to please everyone.

9. It’s Hollywood’s first all-Asian cast in 25 years that’s not set in the past

You don’t walk into a cinema and expect an all-Asian cast in a Hollywood film, but Crazy Rich Asians did just that.

The movie has been sliding into headlines for the fact that it features a full Asian cast – something unheard of in recent years. The closest is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2000, also starring Michelle Yeoh, but that’s a movie set in the past and it’s, well, a wuxia movie and was in Chinese.

10. Parody

Incidentally, our own local Youtube channel Night Owl Cinematics did a parody of the movie trailer, and suffice it to say that it was pretty bang for its buck.

Titled Crazy Average Singaporeans, the parody was a more Singlish take on the movie, and to me, it really fits the whole Singaporean thing to a T.

Plus it features Joanna so that’s a definite plus, although of course, I would’ve preferred a certain prettygirl99 to take centre stage instead.

Here, take a look:

For fans of the book, it might not be a particularly thrilling wait, what with the seemingly differentiating points that stem from bringing the book to life.

But for non-readers like me, I would have to say that I’ll be looking forward to the movie. Not because it’s a Hollywood take on Singapore…

But rather because I’ll be interested to see how Singaporeans are viewed in the eyes of foreigners.

And of course, Fiona Xie’s inclusion doesn’t exactly hurt. 😉

Just stating it for all the Fiona Xie fanboys out there. 

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Zhi Hao

Zhi Hao

Just your average Singaporean guy who tends to write aimlessly, work out inefficiently and sleep soundlessly.
Zhi Hao