Recommendations

Battle: Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy, Rich Asians was so good! I thoroughly enjoyed both the book (well, the first one at least) and the movie. But this is a battle and there can only be one person to make it out alive, well at least one winner.

For those who haven’t dabbled in the world of these rich Asians, let me give you a rundown: Nicky Young is in love, but the problem is that he is like royalty in the Asian, specifically Chinese world. The opening scene of both the book and the movie is his family buying a hotel that discriminated against them. They got enough money to give a middle finger to racism!

Rachel Chu is not rich. More importantly, she has no idea who Nicky and his family are, making her from a different planet. They go to Singapore for a wedding and she is thrown into this new world without warning whatsoever. Can their love survive this trip??

I’ll start with the book, written by Kevin Kwan, since I read that one first.

The book:

Pros

  • Hilarious! This (audio)book had me cackling! Reading about the family’s antics was uproarious and it gave good context for their reactions to the Rachel Chu. There were a lot of cultural reference I didn’t understand, but it didn’t make the substance any less funny.
  • On that note, I learned a lot of Chinese slang. I love how Kevin was so unapologetic about using it and not worrying about who wouldn’t get it or who would be left out. This book wasn’t written for me (even me just as an American and not necessarily me as black) and that’s ok.
  • The characters were so dynamic and well-developed. The level of detail and their arcs were great. Much better in the book than the movie (with the exception of a few).

Cons

  • The only con I have is that the sequels were not as good to me. I only got about a fourth of the way through the second book before I gave up. I feel like the first book did a better job linking the separate stories to the main plot line, but the second book seemed too disjointed and the main plot wasn’t strong enough to hold everything together. What seemed funny and charming in the first book, seemed trivial and boring in the second. But that’s just me.

The Movie:

The movie was directed by Jon M. Chu in 2018 (I know, I’m late) and stars Constance Wu and Henry Golding. I watched this with my mom and sister for my sister’s assignment, so their reactions are tied in with my own.

Pros

  • The movie was even funnier than the book! They casted the absolutely funniest people! I was crying laughing at so many points. Even my mom thought it was funny! I love how that they fleshed out her college friend’s character more and added her family. They were excellent additions.
  • While I don’t want to give spoilers for the ending, the tension building and plot twist revelation was much better in the book.
  • The cast was beautiful. And the scenery was beautiful. Did I mention the cast was beautiful? Everything was just beautiful.

Cons

  • They didn’t show as much of Eddie as I would like. He was my favorite character in the book because he was so over-the-top, but he was barely featured in the movie.
  • Astrid didn’t seem as real as she had in the book. I understand her character is supposed to come across as a chilly perfectionist, but she had way more depth in the book. So much of the character depth was lacking in the film.

Conclusion:

The book wins this battle. I really wish I could have gotten into the sequel. I will definitely be watching the sequels to the movie if they become a thing. It’s been a minute and this pandemic isn’t helping the entertainment industry. Maybe in the meantime I’ll give the sequels another chance.

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