'Crazy rich asians' is the movie we needed

By Annie Dang, Staff Writer

Newman’s campus has more crazy people than you think. See, I once knew this guy who liked to put COFFEE CREAMER in his Dr. Pepper.

There’s also this girl who gave her classmate a cookie filled with shaving cream and toothpaste as revenge.

But, you know what’s crazier? This hot new movie that came out this summer called  “Crazy Rich Asians.” This movie tells the tumultuous love story between a young Asian-American named Rachel Chu and a man (with a luscious voice of butter) named Nicholas Young.

While their romance is earnest and sweet, it is filled with drama brought on by Nicholas’ mother Eleanor. I don’t want to say how the movie ends (no spoilers here), but let’s just say I am looking forward to the next installment.  

Although this movie is packaged like any other romantic comedy, it’s anything but typical. First of all, this movie is the first time since the Joy Luck Club (1993) came out that an Asian-American story is being told on the Hollywood screen.

Second of all, not only does it feature an Asian story, but it has an all-Asian cast. Now, you may be thinking “there’s no way that’s a big deal” or “surely there’s another movie like this.” But, if you just think about the movies you’ve seen in the past decade, this movie is a big deal.

It’s a “spending 3,000,000 Malaysian ringgit to rent out a Navy fleet complete with fireworks for your friend’s bachelor party” kinda deal.

Back in 2015, this little movie called “Aloha” was released starring Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone. Now, as much as I love Emma Stone, I was in pure shock to find out she was hired to play Allison Ng, a half Asian/half American. I nearly flew to Hollywood myself to tell them “Dishonor on you! Dishonor on your cow! Dishonor on your whole family!”

While Emma is a brilliant actress, she also happens to be paler than a Ritz cracker with fiery red hair and big, bright BLUE eyes. They hired her to play someone of Asian descent? How does that make any sense when 5.6 percent of the American population (that’s 17.3 million, people) is Asian? So, no. In the end, “Crazy Rich Asians” is not just some romance movie, it’s a milestone for all Asian-Americans.

Beyond that, this film made a huge mark on my own life because for the first time, there was someone on the screen that represented my story. Throughout the movie, Rachel struggles with navigating both cultures. She never really fit in either one; something I feel that I experience on the daily.

A pivotal point in the movie is when Eleanor finally tells Rachel, “You’ll never be good enough.” Hearing those words sent a chill directly down my spine.

Growing up raised by a dual culture, those were the words I feared the most.  By being part of both cultures, you are constantly judged by one or the other to be “good enough.” You often hear, “Oh, wow, she’s not Asian enough” or “Man, she eats rice every day, she’s not American enough.”

But, just as Rachel learns to stand up for herself, I can say at the end of the day that I am good enough. I am an ASIAN as well as an AMERICAN and I want everyone to know that is okay.

At the of the movie, the song “Yellow” by Coldplay is played in the background. Jon M. Chu once stated in an interview that the song choice was no mistake. He aimed to reclaim the word “yellow” for Asian-Americans.

So for my young fellow Asian-Americans, looking to chase their dreams, I have to say to you: “Look at the stars/Look how they shine for you/And all the things you do/And it was all yellow.”

PHOTO: Courtesy photo,