The work that I want to examine is an American romantic comedy-drama called Crazy Rich Asians. This movie is an adaption of the eponymous novel written by Singaporean-American author Kevin Kwan.
The movie follows Rachel Chu (Wu), a deep-rooted American-born Chinese (so-called “banana”) economics professor who appears to be an Asian but is an American inside. Racheal’s boyfriend Nick Young (Golding) brought her from New York City to his hometown, Singapore, for his best friend’s wedding, and she expects to spend the summer getting to know Nick better. Before their departure, Rachel’s mother tries to impart to her daughter the importance of tradition, while she and her mother have a very nontraditional mother-daughter relationship for Chinese families indeed. From this scene, we can see the juxtaposition of American and Chinese traditions in an authentic immigrant family. In Singapore, Rachael finds out that Nick is from an unbelievably wealthy family, which Nick didn’t inform her. In such an upper social class like Nick’s, people regard wealth, pride, and prestige as the determinants of their identity in the society, therefore, they are constantly entangled in fierce competition. Because of his distinguished family background, Nick Young is one of the most eligible bachelors in his country, thus, every single woman in his social class is especially jealous of Rachel. Rachael is othered by Nick’s family and friends that she is not only gossiped and threatened by the rich “sisters” in a luxurious beach party, but also is she severely examined and blamed by Nick’s mother. All these factors of cultural collision, othering, and rigid hierarchy in the society contribute to Racheal’s deep feeling of unbelonging as well as isolation in Singapore. However, Racheal, as a Chinese descendant as well as a rational professor with both Asian and American values in her mind, tries to break through the cultural norms and to be her best and unique self.
Happily, at the end of the story, Racheal successfully settled the confliction and difficulties with Nick’s family, and they finally entered the marriage hall with their persistence and faith in love. Although the plot of this movie is quite similar to that of the typical Cinderella kind of story, the internal meanings and values behind it are really noteworthy.