Director: Jon M. Chu
Starring: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan and Awkwafina
This film is just brilliant. Through the cast’s stellar performance, the film offers an indulgent insight into the opulent lifestyle of the super-rich.
The plot follows the typical formula we’ve come to associate with the genre: Chinese-American professor Rachel (Constance Wu) is head over heels in love with her Chinese-Singaporean boyfriend Nick Young (Golding), living a happy life in New York. Throw in a friend’s wedding so Rachel can meet his family, who happen to be the wealthiest family in Singapore, and you have an idea of what to expect. The film follows Rachel as she tries to prove herself to everyone in Nick’s family, especially his austere mother Eleanor.
“With films becoming so political and heavy, this film touches on what we really love about films and that’s living vicariously through the more fortunate.”
However, it really is Wu, in her role as the film’s lead, that perfects the film. She is every bit as affable as the titans of the Rom-Com genre such as Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan, able to deliver comedic and dramatic scenes with ease and entertaining intense chemistry with Golding. However, the film’s shining star is inarguably Awkwafina who plays Peik Lin, Rachel’s old college roommate living in Singapore. She is both refreshing and hilarious to the point you’re disappointed every time she leaves a scene. Awkwafina is undoubtedly a shining star in comedy that we will hopefully be seeing a lot more of.
The only pitfall is that the film tries to integrate subliminal messaging. The main plot sends hopeful messages that ‘where you come from isn’t always where you end up’ and that you should always be proud of who you are. The sub-plot follows Nick’s cousin Astrid (Chan) a beautiful millionaire style icon whose husband feels inferior and emasculated by her success and so, has an affair. Unsurprisingly, Astrid embarks on a journey of self-discovery and I think what the film is trying to convey here is that no woman should be ashamed of her success, which is true. Astrid, however, putting on million dollar earrings and happily leaving her husband, more readily implies that consumerism and materialism leads to happiness.
“However, it really is the film’s lead, Constance Wu that perfects the film. She is every bit as likeable as the titans of the genre such as Julia Roberts and Meg Ryan, able to deliver comedic and dramatic scenes with ease and having intense chemistry with Golding.”
By the end of the credits, you’re left with the elated feeling that you could be that simple girl who falls in love with a millionaire and live happily ever after. With films becoming so political and heavy, this film touches on what we really love about films and that’s living vicariously through the more fortunate.
In a nutshell: A shiny, dazzling film that reminds us why we love Rom-Coms.