Crazy Rich Asians is enjoying a wealth of adoration from critics as it helps usher in a resurgence of the romantic comedy genre.
The Jon M. Chu-directed feature — featuring a predominantly Asian cast including Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, and Awkwafina — has vaulted to an impressive 100 percent fresh rating on reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, notching 21 total positive reviews (with zero negative) thus far.
While Rotten Tomatoes gauges general critical response, Metacritic, which measures film journalists’ individual scores for a given film, has estimated an average rating of 77/100 for the film.
Adapted from Kevin Kwan’s novel of the same name, the film follows a New Yorker (Wu) who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s wealthy (and, in some cases, highly judgmental) family.
EW’s Leah Greenblatt calls the project an “overdue” step in the right direction for diversity among studio films, while praising its lavish aesthetic as a “deliriously glossy, globe-trotting trifle” that makes for “two hours of romantic fantasy and real-estate porn poured on so thick it’s almost lickable.”
Among others, Emily Yoshida’s headline for her Vulture review calls the film a “shiny, affluence-porn rom-com with a big immigrant heart,” while Vanity Fair‘s Richard Lawson calls the film “breathless fun” that “whisks us away on a whirlwind tour of an almost fantastical world.”
Crazy Rich Asians opens Wednesday in theaters nationwide. Head here for EW’s full review, and read on for more critical reactions below.
Leah Greenblatt (EW)
“Director Jon M. Chu (Now You See Me 2) never lets you doubt for a moment that Rachel and Nick will find their happily ever after, or that the choice between love and money is one either of them will actually have to make. If the storyline is strictly something old and borrowed, though, a peek at the crazy-rich rainbow of Asian experience — even one as razzle-dazzlingly too-much as this one — feels not just new, but way overdue.”
Emily Yoshida (Vulture)
“Crazy Rich Asians is packed with oversize characters (and one too many pointless side plots), but it’s really a love triangle about moms. Once that’s made all too clear, it’s hard to get too excited about another opulent shindig, but Chu sends us out with one anyway, just making sure that we get several glasses of bubbly to wash down all that immigrant talk.”
Carlos Aguilar (TheWrap)
“Brimming with memorable supporting players, there is humor galore to lighten the plot’s romantic and intellectual discourses. Scene-stealer Awkwafina offers sound, yet uproarious life and fashion advice as Rachel’s local friend Goh Peik Lin. Her screen time is limited but sharply utilized. “Supertore’s” Filipino-American actor Nico Santos embodies Nick’s cheeky cousin Oliver — the Young’s self-proclaimed rainbow sheep — who constantly appeases the elders’ preoccupations while siding with Rachel. Shinning as the unwavering matriarch, the legendary Lisa Lu delivers her precisely written lines with authority that commands instant respect.”
Richard Lawson (Vanity Fair)
“But it’s still excess, and the movie’s wan barbs are not enough to counter all the celebration. The film gives you the odd opportunity to feel swoony and gross at the same time, carried away by the lavishness while also knowing it’s wrong. Still, plenty of white Americans have been able to enjoy all that stuff guilt-free on film for a century—so why shouldn’t some other people get to join the orgy? There’s a sense of reclamation, or maybe it’s assertion, to Crazy Rich Asians, adamantly illustrating Singapore’s place in the oligarchic narrative of the world. (We even get a little history and geography lesson in the film, delivered by the elastic and ever-welcome Awkwafina.) There’s power in that, in reflecting that heritage (and current reality) onscreen to audiences who recognize it, as well as to those learning it for the first time. If that kind of cultural exchange can also include some good-lookin’ men who are shirtless a lot and Michelle Yeoh in a series of terrific outfits, well, what’s the harm in that? I only wish that if we were going to venerate the ludicrously monied, it had been done with a bit more venom. They can take it. They’re really rich, after all.”
Peter Debruge (Variety)
“It’s no secret that there’s a lot riding on this movie, which seems to have anticipated the call for wider representation in Hollywood, but comes with the added pressure that one bomb is all it takes for skittish development executives to nix future projects featuring nearly all-Asian casts. Don’t worry: Crazy Rich Asians won’t bomb, and while it won’t beat Black Panther either, the film is every bit as exciting in the way it takes an ethnic group that is seldom given more than one or two supporting roles per movie and populates an entire blockbuster with memorable, multidimensional Asian characters.”
Inkoo Kang (Slate)
“But Crazy Rich’s American-ness also becomes its greatest area of (niggling) critique. The film’s agog celebration of wealth and excess—necessary for its Cinderella-like structure—is an unnuanced departure from Kwan’s portrait of his native land, which is quite attuned to the deeply ingrained sexism, classism, and ethnic discrimination within Singapore. (You can hardly detect the ethnic and religious diversity of the actual city-state, which boasts four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil.) Save for Eleanor and poor cousin Oliver (Superstore’s Nico Santos), the Singaporean characters mostly get the short shrift, including Nick and his glamorous fashion plate and philanthropist cousin (Gemma Chan), whose marriage to a resentful commoner (Pierre Png) is meant to serve as a mirror image of Rachel and Nick’s relationship but is too underdeveloped for that symmetry to resonate. But Crazy Rich Asians isn’t really about crazy rich Asians anyway, so much as one American who gains a greater appreciation of where she comes from. It’s a great romance, but it’s most powerful as a story of her love with herself.”
Kate Erbland (IndieWire)
“Fans of Kwan’s books will not be disappointed by Chu’s adaptation, as Crazy Rich Asians lovingly brings to life some of the novel’s standout scenes, even as Chiarelli and Lim’s screenplay snips away subplots that detract from Rachel’s journey. Some of those subplots are missed, including a deeper focus on Henry’s cousin Astrid (Gemma Chan) and her own complex love life, along with the comedic relief provided by her brother Edison’s (Ronny Chieng) obsession with money. And yet other standouts emerge, including the antics of Rachel’s old friend Peik Lin (an always-uproarious Awkwafina) and her wild family (including Ken Jeong as her nutty dad). Chu’s wild ride inevitably hits a road block in the film’s clunky third act, which is tasked with pushing Rachel and Eleanor’s simmering feud to a shocking head, complete with soap opera twists and a genuinely emotional denouement. It’s all set against the backdrop of a multi-million dollar wedding that’s both absurd and kind of stunning. A new ending, crafted just for the film and pulling strings from both Kwan’s first and second novels, does its best to bring the film to a satisfying conclusion. And it does deliver, while also setting the stage for an obvious next stage: sequels, and soon.”