How relatable is Crazy Rich Asians to an Asian-American?

It’s been like, weeks since Crazy Rich Asians came out, but it’s still the most talked-about movie of the summer, grossing up to $122 million in the United States alone since it first released. Let’s not forget the fact that CRA is the only movie led completely by an Asian-American cast in 25 years.

Of course, with a title as zany as Crazy Rich Asians, one would expect the movie to show extreme extravagance, which seems to be a little far-fetched and unrelatable (then again, it is a movie based off a fiction book). But of course, there are a few things we Asians can relate with.

  1. Not being Asian enough, but not being American enough either

    This is pretty much the main theme of the movie, where Rachel Chu is stuck in between cultures and being judged for both. Although I was not born in America, I immigrated when I was 5 and I pretty much grew up here. A lot of my friends say that I’m a “white-washed Asian,” which doesn’t really bother me much but is still a tiny bit insulting. Like Rachel, I can still speak my native language (Tagalog) and still follow traditional customs. Oh, and whenever I have boba and use chopsticks to eat my food, they say I’m “so Asian.” AND IT’S NOT EVEN A FILIPINO THING.

     

  2. Needing 100% approval from your family about your significant other

    Though I don’t have a significant other at the moment, I definitely heard the “future husband” lecture about a billion times since I graduated high school. One thing’s for sure: it’s not gonna happen unless my family approves of him 100%. I’d definitely be stuck in the same huge dilemma as Nick if my mom doesn't like the guy I bring home. Inversely, it’s also important to me that my significant other’s parents like me as well. That in-law relationship is KEY.

     

  3. Women dominating the household

    Clearly, women are the BOSSES of this movie. From first lady Eleanor Young to matriarch Ah Ma to single mother Kerry Chu, the families shown in the film portrayed women as the ones in charge of the family. Nothing can happen without her knowing, and nothing can happen without her approval either. My family dynamic is exactly the same: my dad is the head of our family, but he leaves all of the administrative work up to my mom.

     

  4. Having a large “extended family” consisting of people you’re not even related to

    Admittedly, most of Nick’s "family" is actually related to him, but almost all Asians can relate to having “cousins” who are actually just the children of your mom’s friend from college or something of the sort. I have two aunts, three uncles and six direct cousins (from my mom’s side), and I also have a whole bunch of relatives living in Canada and some from my dad’s side (who I haven’t even met IRL). I left most of my relatives when we moved here to America, so the kids I grew up with in our small apartment complex became my cousins because we were close enough to be family.  

  5. Staying at a friend’s house and having his/her family treat you like royalty

    I’ve never been on the receiving end of this, but every time any of my friends stay over my parents cook the best food, spend hours “catching up,” and just being the most accommodating people ever. My family is pretty much Peik Lin’s (Rachel’s friend) family when Rachel first visited their mansion. Except, you know…I don’t live in a mansion.

Underneath the grandeur of lavish parties, beautiful scenery and impossibly rich (yet genuinely nice) boyfriend, Crazy Rich Asians touches on the Asian culture in a truly relatable way. If you haven’t seen it, please do! Support the movie that finally gives Asians the recognition they deserve in Hollywood.