Before “Crazy Rich Asians” has even closed on its opening weekend, it is already making history.
– It’s the first Hollywood-produced film with an exclusively Asian cast in more than twenty-five years.
– It’s projected to beat out the international action production “The Meg” this weekend (which in movie speak, almost NEVER happens with a romcom.)
“Crazy Rich Asians” is sure to succeed at the box office because it succeeds as a great romantic comedy film. Even though it’s primarily a love story between Rachel Chu and Nick Young, it’s also compelling because of the familial battleground between Rachel and Nick’s mother, Eleanor. This introduces another novel concept to a traditional love story – the women of the film not only striving for approval from the bottom, but pulling all the strings from the top.
We complied a list of the female heroes from “Crazy Rich Asians” so you have even MORE reason to go out and see the film this weekend. And maybe every weekend after that.
Astrid Leong-Teo – Played by Gemma Chan
Nick’s perfect, statuesque cousin is an underrated character in the film. She’s constantly balancing the importance of her image, and what it means to her family, with making her “commoner” husband feel secure in their marriage.
Goh Peik Lin – Played by Awkwafina
If “Crazy Rich Asians” is a Cinderella story, then Goh Peik is the Fairy Godmother. She’s Rachel’s only friend in Singapore who is not related to Nick, and saves the day several times when it comes to finding Rachel something appropriate to wear for the fancy wedding parties, and acting as a sturdy crutch when Nick’s mother comes between Rachel and her boyfriend.
Rachel Chu – Played by Constance Wu
Our beautiful, infallible leading lady is everything a mother should want in a daughter-in-law: smart, fierce, and loyal. But Eleanor thinking that Rachel isn’t good enough for her son doesn’t stop Rachel from fighting for her relationship. She uses her game theory knowledge to earn Eleanor’s respect.
Eleanor Sun-Young – Played by Michelle Yeoh
A weaker adaptation could easily have painted Eleanor as the villain in Rachel Chu’s love story. She’s a richer-than-God woman who is used to getting her way. But this film doesn’t do that. While we may not agree with Eleanor’s disapproval of Rachel, her reasons for disliking her appear to be somewhat rational. She puts her family above everything else, even her own happiness, and she fears that Rachel is incapable of that mentality. As formidable as she is though, Eleanor is not incapable of love and acceptance.
Kerry Chu – Played by Tan Kheng Hua
Kerry Chu, Rachel’s mother, is the unsung hero of the film. An immigrant from China who raised Rachel all on her own, her personality is in diametric opposition to Eleanor, although she too wants nothing more than to see her child happy. When Nick’s family tension becomes too much for Rachel to bear, it’s Kerry who helps her pick up the broken pieces of her heart, and reassure her that everything is going to be okay.