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Posts Tagged ‘ken Jeong’

Henry Golding, Constance Wu

“CRAZY RICH ASIANS” My rating: C

120 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

“Crazy Rich Asians” is an utterly conventional and largely indifferent wedding-weekend rom-com made noteworthy by just one thing:

It’s the first Hollywood movie since who-knows-when to feature Asian actors in virtually every speaking role.

Culturally speaking, this is a step forward.  Artistically it’s dead in the water.

Jon M.  Chu’s film centers on Rachel (Constance Wu), a professor of economics at Columbia University in a deepening romance with Nick (Henry Golding), a Singapore citizen of Chinese descent who works in finance.

What Rachel doesn’t realize is that Nick is the heir to one of the biggest family fortunes in Asia.  The Youngs own real estate, hotel chains, you name it (if you think Trumpism with all its attendant tackiness, you’re not too far off the mark). But Nick has kept all this from Rachel; he wants to be loved for himself, not his staggering wealth.

Once in Singapore to attend the nuptials of one of Nick’s many cousins,  the secret is out.

Rachel is stunned by the display of unfettered prosperity before her.  “Crazy” in the case of this film means wildly profligate, for the Youngs are not shy about parading their buying power, from vast estates surrounded by a private army to a wedding ceremony in a church decorated to look like a jungle complete with running stream through which the bride wades to meet her groom.

The big problem, though, is less about money than about cultural prejudice.  The Young clan — especially Nick’s mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) — cannot conceived of an outsider joining their ranks. Thus Rachel is targeted for humiliation and alienation initiated by aunties and cousins who at first seem civil and even friendly but who are just waiting the opportunity to pounce.

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“THE HANGOVER PART II”   My rating: B

102 minutes | Rating: R

In comedy funny trumps everything else.

“The Hangover Part II” isn’t smarter than, say, “Bridesmaids.” And it has little of the emotional heft of a truly great comedy like “Local Hero” or “Groundhog Day.”

But it’s still about the funniest thing to hit the screen in a long while — providing you’ve got a high threshold for raunchy outrageousness.

You can’t accuse its makers of messing around too much with a successful format. Despite a change of locale — sinful Bangkok takes the role previously played by sinful Las Vegas — this sequel is a recycling of characters and incidents from the first film. That might be a liability if it wasn’t so damn hilarious.

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