The Morning After: Aug. 27, 2018

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

Crazy Rich Asians

Since the early days of cinema, romantic comedies have been a central part of the film landscape. While their efficacy and credibility have waxed and waned over the years, there are a handful of exemplary features that crop up from time to time even in the midst of a meager period. Crazy Rich Asians is a genuinely engaging, emotionally fulfilling pop of excitement in our dull modern landscape.

The son of a wealthy Chinese dynasty (Henry Golding), the Youngs, has fallen in love with economics professor Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) and wants to bring her to meet his family against the backdrop of his best friend’s wedding. Her history doesn’t jive with that of his family and the tension mounts as the Young family struggles to tame its own demons while outright rejecting the impoverished origins of Chu and her mother. Clashes abound and while Rachel never quite feels a part of this world of exorbitant wealth, its her passion for Nick Young that keeps her going and determines each of her actions, even if her own comfort and safety is at risk.

Wu, Golding, Michelle Yeoh as Nick’s mother Eleanor, Gemma Chan as his sister Astrid, and Awkwafina as Rachel’s college roommate Peik Lin are all superb in roles that are rich and distinct, given fresh life. Eastern and Western traditions are infused here in ways that exemplify how film can be used to explore the delicate relationships not just between cultures foreign and domestic. Not since Joy Luck Club has a film so succinctly expressed the heart and sensitivity of Asian culture, making it both accessible and deep.

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