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.