In the summer movie theaters are often filled with kids and adults alike, there to escape the heat and watch a Michael Bay-esque action flick.
While feel good films are also a big go-to, not many of them can advertise a cast with more than one minority actor, let alone an almost fully Asian cast.
That is what the film “Crazy Rich Asians” brings to the table, or rather big screen, this August.
The film, based on a Kevin Kwan novel of the same name, is a romantic comedy filled with opulence, drama, and laughs.
But beyond its glamor and portrayal of familial old money the film gives Hollywood what its been looking for, a new story.
The plot focuses on Rachel Chu, played by Constance Wu, an American raised Chinese woman and her trials and tribulations of meeting her boyfriend’s overbearing and incredibly rich Chinese family.
Concepts like class conflict, difficult in-laws, and secretly famous significant others are not new by any means, but the cast and deeper intention of the film set it apart from others.
While the film has already been criticized for not being “Asian enough” and including few racially and socioeconomically diverse characters, those reviews are a bit too critical.
The story was located heavily in Singapore, so the comments made about lacking darker toned Asians, particularly Malaysians, are with merit and completely understandable.
However, this story in particular was intended to focus on a Chinese family and a Chinese American woman. To ask for one story to show every side of every culture seems unfair.
Even lead actress Wu acknowledge in a public statement that the story simply, “Won’t represent every Asian American.”
This already highly grossing film is, like Wu later alludes to, a stepping stone for more unheard stories to enter the Hollywood game.
No, “Crazy Rich Asians” does not tell the story of every minority, every background, or every culture. That is not its purpose. Like any film its purpose is to entertain and tell a singular story with a message audiences can relate to.
The film’s success in telling its own story is not an up turned nose at every other.
It opens the door for these other stories to be told to popular masses.