3 Reactions To Crazy Rich Asians - An Asian Mom Blogger's Perspective (4 minute read)

So recently, my husband and I were able to get away and have a date night (oh just one of those things couples should do every now and then especially when they're busy AF as parents). 

The hype around Crazy Rich Asians got to me. As mentioned before, I'm not one of those people who falls prey to FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). But I had to support my Asian brothers and sisters to contribute to its success. 

They (as in the media and the rest of the world) compare the bigness (is that even a word? I can't think of another one at the moment) of this movie to Joy Luck Club which came out 25 years ago.

I saw that one when I was 7 or 8 and I fell asleep. I also didn't understand why Chinese people spoke English in the movie since all the other movies I was watching at the time were Chinese movies. I'm planning to watch it again and maybe it'll resonate with me more now.

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians but mainly for its visually stunning scenes. I've always wanted to go to Singapore (foodie at heart) but this movie makes me want to book a ticket NOW!

So many colours! 
So many fashion aspirations! 
So much glamour! 
So many gorgeous Asian people.  
It was beautiful. Simply beautiful.
However, to be perfectly honest, the storyline is absolutely basic and I would have enjoyed more character development so I would actually care about what happens to Rachel and Nick. 

Perhaps delving into the complicated relationship between an Asian Mother and Son (Eleanor and Nick) and the internal conflict an Asian man has when his Asian mom doesn't approve of the love of his life? 

Or perhaps unravelling the complexities (lack of transparency, "protecting children", too young to understand blah blah blah) of the Asian mother and daughter relationship between Rachel and her mom to explain why the mom did not disclose the truth about her father.

Or perhaps why this couple didn't talk about any of this stuff for an entire year of dating? And they're going to get married? C'mon, do people actually date like this in real life?

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Regardless, I don't think that's the point of the movie. It's freaking called Crazy Rich Asians not Emotionally Adept Asians...with soliloquies and 3-dimensional characters that the audiences would ache for.

Anyway, there were 3 moments that made my face twitch aside from the jaw-dropping, eyes-wide expression of wonderment that I held most of the movie.

**Spoilers Alert**

1. A Scoff

That scene with the dead fish in Rachel's hotel room (a hateful prank played by the other Asian women who think she's a gold digger)

OK - so wow, I'm trying to wrap my head around this one. 

Obviously, the purpose of the scene was to make us feel sorry for Rachel and demonstrate the potential backlash she will get if she continues being with Nick. 

I scoff because I questioned the validity of this scene. Like would that actually happen? I'm assuming these women are adults right? But c'mon...that's so sad and immature. 

But then I put myself in both Rachel and the other women's' shoes. 

Yup - totally. That could totally fucking happen.

It makes me reflect on toxic female friendships and how some women take pleasure in another woman's misfortune. You know, those women who are deeply insecure about themselves and you dance around them because one slight word about your own accomplishments will drive them over the edge.

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Add superficial materialism/entitlement and that whole competing mentality that Asian parents cultivate in their children...and then what happens?

"You're better than me so I will do something to make you feel like shit...but something passive aggressive so I don't have to confront you directly because I was brought up to hold everything in until my shit fossilizes."

2. A Tear

The scene where Rachel's mom flies to Singapore to comfort her daughter.

I teared up. Sadly, I was fighting them in the theatre because I felt embarrassed crying about this. I'm a work in progress.

Before becoming a mom, I would have probably start thinking about my own mom and how she's supported me when I was feeling down. 

However, this made me think about my relationship with my daughter in the future.

When she gets her heart broken (And I know it will happen because I don't know anyone who hasn't had theirs broken), I want to be there and I want her to want me to be there. 

It made me think about what I will say to her to make her feel better, what stories I will tell to express my empathy for her experience and what food I will make to comfort her. 

So I think they were tears of joy and gratitude and the overwhelming emotions of being a girl mom.

3. A Smile

The dumpling-making scene and Astrid's comment. 

Eleanor says, "Grandmother says if we don't pass down our traditions, they disappear." 

Then, Astrid makes a comment about the "Chinese tradition of guilting your children."

I thought this was hilarious. And a sick burn that made me smile

Guilting your children is like the annoying, passive-aggressive way Asian parents get their grown kids to do stuff for them. I hate that. 

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Here is a recent example that I totally called my mom out on.

My family had just finished dim sum. My sister and I were talking about what we were going to do afterward. We were planning to go on a hike while my husband takes our daughter home for a nap. 

My mom overhears our conversation and pipes in, "Where are you going to hike?"
I answer, "Oh just the trail behind my house."

My mom casually mentions, "When are you going?"
I respond, "Like now?"

My mom is in Asian parent guilt-trip mode, "Oh I haven't hiked that trail before. It's been so long since I've been on a hike. Your dad never likes to hike with me because of his knees so I always go alone. But it's fine. I like to do it all by myself."
I call her out, "Why are you saying all this stuff? Do you want to come?"

She quietly answers, "No it's okay. You girls go ahead."
I bluntly say, "Geez...just come, Mom. You want to spend time with your daughters. It's okay. I would want to do that with my daughter too. Next time, just say you want to come"

She laughs and admits, "Yeah yeah, of course."

We all go hiking. 

I'm hoping that I don't develop that guilt-tripping behaviour with my daughter. I'm planning to be direct with her. 

"Hey, you're going hiking? I want to come. Can I come?"

"Sure."

"Cool."

So Readers, have you watched Crazy Rich Asians? Any takeaways?

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Comments

  1. I was (and still am) half way through the book when I saw the movie and they left out SO many little character details that you would love. Read the book. It's pretty good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh nice. I haven't read the book yet but it's good to know they have all the details that I was looking for. I'll add that to my list. Thanks for letting me know :)

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