'Crazy Rich Asians' Wows Critics: 'Tour de Force of Lifestyle Pornography'


Critics are all in for “Crazy Rich Asians,” Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of the bestselling novel by Kevin Kwan.

“Jon M. Chu has delivered a highly satisfying, decidedly old-fashioned romantic comedy, garnished with soapy elements and enough mouth-watering shots of food to inspire a big meal before or after,” wrote CNN’s Brian Lowry. Refinery29’s Anne Cohen said, “Ultimately, the film delivers as a blockbuster romantic comedy: It’s joyous, decadent, and yes, extremely predictable.

Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times called it “a tour de force of lifestyle pornography.”

TheWrap’s Carlos Aguilar wrote, “Ultimately, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ doesn’t need to subvert all its predictable elements, because even if we know where it’s going, we’ve never seen that story told this way.”

The film, which opens in theaters on Aug. 15, currently holds the highest possible score on Rotten Tomatoes at 100 percent.

“Crazy Rich Asians” stars Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, Jimmy O. Yang and Chris Pang. It follows a New Yorker woman who travels to Singapore to meet her boyfriend’s family — who turn out to be extremely wealthy.

Here are excerpts from the best reviews:

Brian Lowry, CNN

“‘Crazy Rich Asians’ understandably feels like an occasion — a big, colorful coming-out party for Asian (and especially Asian-American) talent. Set aside the cultural significance, though, and director Jon M. Chu has delivered a highly satisfying, decidedly old-fashioned romantic comedy, garnished with soapy elements and enough mouth-watering shots of food to inspire a big meal before or after.”

Molly Freeman, ScreenRant

“‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is for anyone interested in catching a romantic comedy with their friend/friends, date, significant other or partner. It’s on the more extravagant end of the genre’s escapist fantasy stories, but that makes it all the more fun. Between its humor, romance, and heart, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ provides an exceptionally entertaining experience that has something for everyone. There may have been a drop-off in studio rom-coms over the last decade, but the story of Nick and Rachel is poised to bring the genre back in a big way. Truly, ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is what studio romantic comedies should be, and hopefully it will help usher in a new era for the genre, bringing more diverse stories to a revival of the big studio rom-com.”

Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“Has a movie title ever doubled better as its own elevator pitch? It’s all there in those three words: Mad money, bad behavior, a pin dropped on race and place. And if ‘Asians’ really only grazes true Crazy, the movie is still a deliriously glossy, globe-trotting trifle — two hours of romantic fantasy and real-estate porn poured on so thick it’s almost lickable.”

Inkoo Kang, Slate

“You might have heard that ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is the first major release by a studio about Asian Americans in a quarter-century. (Its predecessor is 1993’s ‘The Joy Luck Club.’) The film’s arrival is undeniably momentous. But it’s nearly as vital that ‘Crazy Rich’ is a romantic comedy–a genre that relies on charisma above all else. The film’s stereotype-busting approach is multifarious.”

Kate Erbland, IndieWire

“Jon M. Chu’s big screen adaptation of the material, a groundbreaking studio film that is entirely populated by Asian-American performers (the first of its kind since ‘The Joy Luck Club,’ 25 years ago), is a loving take on Kwan’s books, bundled up in a wildly entertaining package.”

Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“Directed with an exuberantly personal touch by Jon M. Chu from a spirited if uneven script by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim, this adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s 2013 international bestseller is many things: a tour de force of lifestyle pornography; a slick, enjoyable divertissement; a surprisingly trenchant study of class and cultural difference. Most of all, it’s a concerted effort by a long-neglected Hollywood minority to storm the big-studio citadel and possibly even beat it at its own game.”

Anne Cohen, Refinery29:

“Ultimately, the film delivers as a blockbuster romantic comedy: It’s joyous, decadent, and yes, extremely predictable. But seeing new characters inhabit and thrive within a story we’ve seen countless times before is a major achievement in itself. Who said blonde-haired, blue-eyed Cinderella had a monopoly on the happy ending?”

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