Read Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan before August

by Heather Caliendo

I’m so excited for the movie version of Crazy Rich Asians and the trailer did not disappoint. The romantic comedy will showcase the glamour of Singapore’s high society, and serve as one of the most unique movies of the summer. The movie will be released on August 17 so mark it in your calendar as a must-see.

Crazy Rich Asians features an international cast of stars, led by Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), Gemma Chan (Humans), Lisa Lu (2012), and Awkwafina (upcoming Ocean’s 8, Neighbors 2), with Ken Jeong (the Hangover films) and Michelle Yeoh (Star Trek: Discovery, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). In fact, Crazy Rich Asians is the first big screen release in two decades that feature a majority Asian cast. With two book sequels that follow Crazy Rich Asians (China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems) hopefully this is the start of a movie series and a long-lasting trend for Hollywood.

Here’s the movie synopsis:

The story follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) as she accompanies her longtime boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. Excited about visiting Asia for the first time but nervous about meeting Nick’s family, Rachel is unprepared to learn that Nick has neglected to mention a few key details about his life.

It turns out that he is not only the scion of one of the country’s wealthiest families but also one of its most sought-after bachelors. Being on Nick’s arm puts a target on Rachel’s back, with jealous socialites and, worse, Nick’s own disapproving mother (Michelle Yeoh) taking aim. And it soon becomes clear that while money can’t buy love, it can definitely complicate things.

Crazy Rich Asians is one of my favorite reads of the past couple years.

It’s such a familiar story in a sense (mother disapproves of son’s girlfriend) but there’s so much more to that. You have the context of East Vs. West culture, issues of identity and class discrimination. There’s also a sweet love story at its core.

I’m curious how the movie will differ from the book. I oftentimes see fellow readers complain when a movie makes changes from the book. And I understand, sometimes the changes aren’t for the better and it can be disappointing. But other times, the changes are welcomed and help move along the story.

For instance, I recently talked about the differences in the book and movie versions of Jurassic Park. With that story, I don’t think one is better than the other but in fact, they complement each other.

I look forward to seeing which scenes from the book make it into the movie. And also how the movie will put its own spin on the story. Make sure you read Crazy Rich Asians before you see the movie and we can compare and contrast it.

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