Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Jake Lipson

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The Hollywood Reporter has a story on the progress of the sequels. Unfortunately, the original film's co-screenwriter Adele Lim (who is now writing Raya and the Last Dragon for Disney Animation) has exited the sequel due to a dispute over pay disparity.

But this also says Warner Bros. is looking to film the two sequels back-to-back starting no earlier than late 2020.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/n...m-exits-sequel-pay-disparity-dispute-1236431/
 
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EricSchulz

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I watched this on Cinemax last night. What an enjoyable film! I definitely want to read the books now. And thanks for the links about the Mahjong game and its significance. Even after the fact it helped A LOT.
 

steve jaros

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Not to be a party pooper, but I saw this movie the week it was released (August 2018) and was unimpressed. IMO, CRA is a pretty obvious and predictable kind of Rom-Com of a kind we've seen many times before and not a particularly well-executed one. I graded it at about a C.

IIRC, at time of release CRA did get a lot of positive press for being a "big Hollywood movie with an All-Asian cast" or something like that, and that seemed to create a buzz and hype that carried over to good reviews and box office. Nothing wrong with that per se, and from a social POV it's a good thing if the movie helps more Asian actors get work in big budget films, but I think that if that angle hadn't been present, the film would have been reviewed and performed at the box office much more poorly.
 

Colin Jacobson

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Not to be a party pooper, but I saw this movie the week it was released (August 2018) and was unimpressed. IMO, CRA is a pretty obvious and predictable kind of Rom-Com of a kind we've seen many times before and not a particularly well-executed one. I graded it at about a C.

IIRC, at time of release CRA did get a lot of positive press for being a "big Hollywood movie with an All-Asian cast" or something like that, and that seemed to create a buzz and hype that carried over to good reviews and box office. Nothing wrong with that per se, and from a social POV it's a good thing if the movie helps more Asian actors get work in big budget films, but I think that if that angle hadn't been present, the film would have been reviewed and performed at the box office much more poorly.
Yeah, I hate to play into the SJW side of its success, but I do think the cultural aspects added to its popularity.

And I'm fine with that. Plenty of movies do well for reasons not related to their basic quality, so if "CRA" helped show the viability of movies with Asian casts, that's great.

It's just not much of a movie, though. I think they probably tried to cram in too much from the novel and didn't focus it well enough:

http://dvdmg.com/crazyrichasians.shtml
 

Joe Wong

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As someone of Asian descent, I did enjoy CRA for what it was: a breezy rom-com with some good visuals (food, scenery, excess). The Asian element adds some interesting cultural aspects (eg. clash between east/west upbringing) but otherwise it's, yes, a typical rom-com.

It did excite North American audiences who had been starved of Asian-majority casts in a Hollywood film, which is awesome if it leads to more diversity/inclusion in Tinseltown, but elsewhere, the response was relatively ho-hum, as evidenced by its domestic vs international box office: 73% domestic, 27% international. I'm guessing that in Asia, for example, where rom-coms with majority Asian casts are not as uncommon, it was...just another entry, even if produced with Hollywood slickness and production values.

This is similar to how I felt about Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, back in 2000. It was the flavour of Hollywood for a few months, and won several Oscars. And its box office split was 60% domestic / 40% international (China's market was a small player back then). However, its much praised martial arts sequences weren't any more spectacular than in many films produced in Hong Kong/China in the 80s/90s (those with Jacky Chan or Jet Li) that I had grown up with. I consider CT,HD a slickly produced martial arts film, but not much more revelatory than that.
 

steve jaros

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As someone of Asian descent, I did enjoy CRA for what it was: a breezy rom-com with some good visuals (food, scenery, excess). The Asian element adds some interesting cultural aspects (eg. clash between east/west upbringing) but otherwise it's, yes, a typical rom-com.

It did excite North American audiences who had been starved of Asian-majority casts in a Hollywood film, which is awesome if it leads to more diversity/inclusion in Tinseltown, but elsewhere, the response was relatively ho-hum, as evidenced by its domestic vs international box office: 73% domestic, 27% international. I'm guessing that in Asia, for example, where rom-coms with majority Asian casts are not as uncommon, it was...just another entry, even if produced with Hollywood slickness and production values.

This is similar to how I felt about Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, back in 2000. It was the flavour of Hollywood for a few months, and won several Oscars. And its box office split was 60% domestic / 40% international (China's market was a small player back then). However, its much praised martial arts sequences weren't any more spectacular than in many films produced in Hong Kong/China in the 80s/90s (those with Jacky Chan or Jet Li) that I had grown up with. I consider CT,HD a slickly produced martial arts film, but not much more revelatory than that.
Interesting comparison between CRA and CTHD .... I think one difference is that while the martial arts sequences in CTHD were nothing special to Chinese cinema, that particular highly choreographed, almost ballet-like style of martial arts was something new to the USA, and so there was a "wow!" factor with it among us (me included) who were ignorant about Chinese cinema.

In contrast, if there was any such element in CRA, it escaped me, LOL, though I do recognize that my take was a minority one (e.g. my wife and daughter loved it).
 
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Joe Wong

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Interesting comparison between CRA and CTHD .... I think one difference is that while the martial arts sequences in CTHD were nothing special to Chinese cinema, that particular highly choreographed, almost ballet-like style of martial arts was something new to the USA, and so there was a "wow!" factor with it among us (me included) who were ignorant about Chinese cinema.

In contrast, if there was any such element in CRA, it escaped me, LOL, though I do recognize that my take was a minority one (e.g. my wife and daughter loved it).
Definitely appreciate that for many, CTHD showed sequences that were new and "WOW", and led to its popularity. Though I think it also built on the successful platform of The Matrix the year before, which showcased some "fantastical" martial arts as well (even if, personally, I don't feel that Keanu, Fishburne, Moss, Weaving, etc. exhibit the same level of accomplishment or conviction in their moves as someone like Michelle Yeoh, who's been in martial arts films since the 80s).

And fully agree with you that aside from the majority Asian cast (for a Hollywood film), there wasn't much that distinguished CRA from a typical rom-com.
 

Jake Lipson

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DaveF

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I missed it in the theaters (wife saw it without me), but I got a free copy from MoviesAnywhere and watched over the holiday weekend.

I enjoyed it overall as a lightweight rom-com. And having a new perspective, new take on the genre was neat. The leads were great. I wholly believed Rachel and Nick were in love. And Michelle Yeoh was sublime. The supporting cast was maybe a bit broad in their performances, as a collective, but individually each was fun.

But at the end, I had an almost visceral concern for Rachel's mental welfare and the looming destruction of her career. I wanted her to leave this horrible, pathological family behind!

With that, I was putoff by Astrid's arc: Astrid ultimately finding she had the inner strength to embrace her billionaire, scion-ness was gross.

In my mind, in the sequel Rachel has become another hollowed-out Astrid. She's abandoned her career. She's at home making dumplings while Nick is absent running the family business. Her child is raised by her mother-in-law. And when Rachel wakes up to who she has become, to what she gave up to these monsters, the horror movie plays out.

But aside from the ending giving me the heeby-jeebies, the rest of the movie was pretty fun.
 

Jake Lipson

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There are two sequel books so we already know what happens. I haven't read them, but they exist. While I get what you are saying, I don't think that's actually it. ;)
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I missed it in the theaters (wife saw it without me), but I got a free copy from MoviesAnywhere and watched over the holiday weekend.

I enjoyed it overall as a lightweight rom-com. And having a new perspective, new take on the genre was neat. The leads were great. I wholly believed Rachel and Nick were in love. And Michelle Yeoh was sublime. The supporting cast was maybe a bit broad in their performances, as a collective, but individually each was fun.

But at the end, I had an almost visceral concern for Rachel's mental welfare and the looming destruction of her career. I wanted her to leave this horrible, pathological family behind!

With that, I was putoff by Astrid's arc: Astrid ultimately finding she had the inner strength to embrace her billionaire, scion-ness was gross.

In my mind, in the sequel Rachel has become another hollowed-out Astrid. She's abandoned her career. She's at home making dumplings while Nick is absent running the family business. Her child is raised by her mother-in-law. And when Rachel wakes up to who she has become, to what she gave up to these monsters, the horror movie plays out.

But aside from the ending giving me the heeby-jeebies, the rest of the movie was pretty fun.
Wait. Why do you think Rachel becomes just like Astrid? They had/have completely different paths that crossed in the story, but there's not much reason to assume Rachel adopts Astrid's path instead of say the mother-in-law Eleanor's path -- it's actually virtually impossible for Rachel to become Astrid because Rachel's the outsider while Astrid is essentially "blue blood" insider.

Rachel actually has much more in common w/ Eleanor than w/ Astrid. She's actually even more similar to Astrid's cheating husband in background/circumstance and direction than to Astrid -- that specific failed marriage actually informs us of some of the challenges someone like Rachel will face... though it'll likely be different enough in that relatively traditional, (still) male dominated world.

Also, I think to consider CRA as merely another typical rom-com misses certain particularly traditional Asian aspects of the story (a bit like saying Joy Luck Club is just another melodrama)... though much of them can probably also apply to various other traditional cultures. It would be kinda like saying most reasonably well-made movies of Jane Austen's works are just your typical rom-coms that don't explore anything different at all from say Mama Mia or Fever Pitch (the rom-com w/ Fallon and Barrymore) for example.

Of course, I'm not saying CRA is some truly great movie or anything... though I certainly had a blast w/ it (at least in part because of my own very personal familiarity w/ its subject matter... much like w/ Joy Luck Club for that matter). Just think the "just another rom-com" dismissal is bit unwarranted is all -- and of course, this is not meant to address DaveF alone, but that quoted comment just happens to be the (most) recent such sentiment expressed...

_Man_
 
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Jake Lipson

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Just think the "just another rom-com" dismissal is rather unwarranted is all.
I liked the movie a lot and am on record in this thread saying so multiple times. But it is very much a standard romantic comedy structure. That's not a complaint or criticism. The plotting is not the film's distinguishing feature. It fits the romantic comedy formula to a T, but there's nothing wrong with that because it is an extremely well-executed one.

The diversity and inclusion with a non-white cast and a look into a different culture is admirable and makes the film both entertaining and distinctive. The cast is fantastic and I'm very excited to see the sequels whenever they may arrive.

But it's still very much a standard romantic comedy in what it tries to achieve.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I liked the movie a lot and am on record in this thread saying so multiple times. But it is very much a standard romantic comedy structure. That's not a complaint or criticism. The plotting is not the film's distinguishing feature. It fits the romantic comedy formula to a T, but there's nothing wrong with that because it is an extremely well-executed one.

The diversity and inclusion with a non-white cast and a look into a different culture is admirable and makes the film both entertaining and distinctive. The cast is fantastic and I'm very excited to see the sequels whenever they may arrive.

But it's still very much a standard romantic comedy in what it tries to achieve.
Sure, I can agree w/ that, but doesn't seem to be quite the same sentiment expressed when someone calls it "just another rom-com" (w/ nothing particularly distinguishing nor insightful) or "lightweight rom-com" or the like.

That's why CRA seems to be considered less than say CTHD by as least one earlier commenter even though CTHD really doesn't offer anything clearly more (of substance) than CRA -- and I do actually like CTHD pretty well too though I also understand the objections from some (primarily Asian) quarters that are very familiar and knowledgeable of the wuxia genre (as I am myself). Indeed, CTHD is arguably much more generic and derivative (and arguably pretentious) than CRA...

FWIW, CRA at least doesn't suggest a simplistic "happily ever after" ending (or that love will actually conquer all) which is otherwise very common w/ most rom-coms -- Rachel triumphs (w/in the limited scope of this movie), but it's not at all clear she (and Nick) will likely actually be "happily ever after"... beyond having some decent likelihood of turning out better than Nick's parents or Astrid's failed marriage (yet w/out any certainty of that or of how much better)...

_Man_
 
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