Jon Chu


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Jon Chu (USA, 1979) directed the romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians (2018).

The film opens with a Chinese mother, Eleanor, walking into a luxury hotel with her family and asking for the room that she reserved. The hotel staff politely refuses to give her the room. They don't even let her use the hotel's telephone. She walks outside in the rain and calls her husband. Minutes later she walks back in demanding the same room. The hotel's manager is about to call the police when the owner himself shows up and welcomes the lady as the new owner of the hotel...
Twenty years later, Eleanor's children are famous aristocracy in their native Singapore. One of them, Nick, lives in New York and dates Rachel, an economics professor. Rachel has no idea that Nick's family is wealthy. Nick invites her to travel with him to Singapore to attend his best friend Colin's wedding. A young Chinese lady sees them chatting at the bar and takes a picture that she immediately posts on social media. The picture spreads all over Singapore and eventually the news that Nick is dating an ordinary girl reaches his mother Eleanor. Rachel, instead, is the daughter of a single mother who raised her alone after her father died. Rachel begins to suspect something when they board the plane: they are treated to a first-class cabin, not to the economy seat that she was expecting. When they arrive in Singapore, they first meet Colin and his fiancee Araminta, and Rachel feels comfortable. But the following day Rachel visits her old college friend Peik, and learns from her that Nick is the heir to a gigantic fortune: his family is aristocracy even for Peik's rich family. Peik drives Rachel to the dinner party at Nick's grandmother's house. They initially think that they have been given the wrong address but then two security guards show up and open a gate. Peik is excited to see in person the fabled residence of the famous family. Rachel is shocked by the display of wealth. Nick invites Peik to stay and Peik promptly produces an evening dress from the trunk of her car. Nick introduces Rachel to his mother and it is obvious that the stiff Eleanor is not thrilled by the ordinary Rachel. On the other hand, Nick's grandmother has a few kind words for Rachel. The following day Rachel and Nick split. Rachel spends the day with other girls on an island resort for Araminta's bachelorette party which is all about silly shopping and playing. Rachel meets Amanda, who eventually introduces herself as Nick's former girlfriend and his mother's favorite, and instructs someone to paint insults in Rachel's bedroom. Rachel finds a real friend in Nick's cousin Astrid, a sensitive woman famous for elegant fashion, who married an ordinary man. Astrid has just found out that her husband is having an affair. Meanwhile, Nick is taken by helicopter to a gargantuan bachelor party organized by Colin's obnoxious schoolmate Bernard on a container ship in international waters. Nick tells Colin that he bought a ring and is ready to propose to Rachel. Colin doesn't think it is a good idea: he knows that the family will not welcome an ordinary woman like Rachel. Nick apologizes to Rachel for not telling her about Amanda and many other things, but Nick wanted Rachel to love him for what he is not for what his family is. Rachel meets his mother Eleanor again when the whole family joins to make dumplings, an old Chinese tradition. Eleanor tells Rachel that she sacrificed her career for the family. It is a direct attack because Rachel has boasted about how passionate she is for her own career. Eleanor then leaves with a few acid words that clearly signal her disapproval. Rachel tells Peik that she wants to leave, but Peik convinces her to stay and fight. The following day is the day of the wedding and Peik with help from Nick's cousin Oliver makes sure that Rachel wears the best dress. All of Singapore's nobility attends. Astrid shows up alone because she just told her husband that she knows of his affair and, instead of apologizing, he accused her of making him unhappy and left her for good. Rachel shocks the crowd by chatting amiably with a princess who is notoriously hostile to socializing. It looks like she is going to charm the crowd when suddenly Eleanor and Nick's grandmother confront her in private: they hired a private detective who has discovered that Rachel lied about her father, as her father is alive. Worse: her mother cheated on him and left him. This would cause a scandal in conservative Singapore. Rachel is shocked to hear this and leaves in tears. Nick runs after her in vain, and his grandmother forbids him to ever see her again. Rachel, devastated, moves to Peik's place. Her mother shows up and confesses that she left her husband because he was abusive (and Rachel's father is indeed someone else). Peik tells Rachel that it was Nick who called her mother. Rachel accepts to see him again and he proposes to her. Later she confronts his mother Eleanor at a mahjong parlor. After playing psychologist with each other, Rachel boldly tells Eleanor that she has rejected Nick's proposal and is leaving, and she did so because she loves Nick and doesn't want to stand between him and his family, but she also tells Eleanor that for the rest of her life Eleanor will know that whatever family Nick will have will be due to Rachel's courage and love, to the willpower of a poor ordinary woman. Then she leaves and boards a plane to New York with her mother. While she is looking for her seat, Nick shows up and proposes again in front of the whole airplane. This time Rachel accepts and everybody cheers. The difference is that Nick is showing her the family ring, that obviously Eleanor agrees to give her. Nick takes Rachel back to town where a colossal party has been organized with all of his friends, family and Peik.
(Copyright © 2017 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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