A closer look
The Chu girls
Rachel (Constance Wu) shops for dresses with her mother, Kerry (Kheng Hua Tan). In the book the pair are close, as Kerry raised Rachel on her own, and their bond is clearly illustrated in this scene, with Kerry giving Rachel advice. The only difference? On paper, Kerry and Rachel usually interact over the phone, as Kerry lives in California and Rachel resides in New York.
The trailer gives us our first look at Astrid (Gemma Chan), Nick’s stylish and sophisticated cousin, who’s seen here trying on outrageously expensive jewelry. In Kwan’s novel, Astrid tends to go shopping when she needs a pick-me-up, and in a crucial scene, she heads to one of her favorite jewelers after discovering some unsettling news; here, though, she’s smiling. Hey, maybe Astrid’s simply browsing for pleasure.
In his best-seller, Kwan described Rachel’s college friend Peik Lin (Awkwafina) as someone who had “the confidence to pull off bold fashion choices,” with a “broad nose, round face, and slightly squinty eyes.” He never mentions her hair, so rapper-comedian Awkwafina took some liberties with Peik Lin’s rather unique look. In fact, director Jon M. Chu tells EW they had planned to put Awkwafina in a different wig for every scene she’s in, but the blond one just felt right. “The blond wig thing was only going to be one of her looks, so we had all these other looks going on that we had planned out,” he says. “But as soon as she put on the wig, we all saw it and were like, ‘That is so funny.’ So we just went for it.”
The perks of being a rare flower
The exotic tan hua plants are spotlighted in the novel during a party celebrating their blooming — it’s rare for the species to bloom, and they do so for only a few hours before they wilt — which Rachel attends with Nick at his family’s estate, Tyersall Park. It’s there that she encounters most of Nick’s family all in one evening, and this shot appears to be the unveiling of the flowers in full bloom.
Mother knows best
This looks to be the first time Nick’s mother, Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), meets Rachel, and she doesn’t seem too pleased to be pulled in for an unexpected hug. (Too friendly, Rachel!) If this is their first meeting, it marks a small but significant change from the book: On the page, Rachel doesn’t embarass herself by hugging Eleanor. Instead, she tries too hard to obey customs and ends up bowing to the Young matriarch while handing her a basket of mandarin oranges. Eleanor, already less than impressed, then wonders whether Rachel thinks it’s Chinese New Year.
A dip from a rose
Here’s a faux pas by Rachel that did make it to the big screen: She mistakes rose water for a drink. As Nick points out to her in the book and in the film, it’s not for consuming, but for washing your hands before a party.
Rachel underpacked for the wedding — to be fair, she had no idea it would be the fashion event of the year — so in the book, she gets some much-needed help from Peik Lin, who splurges on her friend to give her “racks” of designer dresses to wear. The film seems to give Peik Lin an accomplice in the equally fabulous Oliver (Nico Santos), the self-described “rainbow sheep” of the family. (Look behind them, and you’ll see he’s gathered what looks like a team of stylists and wardrobe options.) Together, they manage to …
Pale blue valentine
… make Rachel look spectacular! Looks like Peik Lin and Oliver do well in their endeavor: Here, we see Rachel in her wedding guest splendor, dressed to the nines opposite Eleanor and all her judgmental ladies.
The (practically) royal wedding
The book’s descriptions of Colin (Chris Pang) and Araminta’s (Sonoya Mizuno) wedding detail “young Aspen trees” hanging from the church ceiling, along with “eight floral arches” of cherry blossom branches held by the bridesmaids. The film tweaks the idea of bringing nature inside by filling the aisle with water, dressing the pews in flowers and greenery, and having all the guests (88 of them, we assume?) hold light-up butterflies.
The final shots in the trailer show Araminta’s bachelorette party, which appears to match the book closely: In the novel, Araminta has her attendees go on a timed shopping spree at her family resort’s boutique, and here we see her clearly instructing a crowd while clutching a timer.
A quiet place
Rachel and Astrid look like they’re sitting far away from a party on a beach, leaning into each other for support in front of a few shovels. There’s no scene that matches this in Kwan’s book — book readers might have a guess as to what those shovels are for, though — but Rachel has always considered Astrid a friend, and one of the few people she trusts from Nick’s family. We’re thinking this a completely new scene to spotlight both women, who, despite coming from very different backgrounds, feel like outcasts amid the craziness.
Crazy Rich Asians hits theaters Aug. 17.