Crazy Rich Asians Parent Guide
In this Cinderella story, positive family messages get entangled with some of the problems associated with the lives of the rich and famous.
Parent Movie Review
In the familiar Cinderella story, Prince Charming falls in love with a beautiful woman, not knowing that she is really a scullery maid. Add a tiny glass slipper, true love and …presto…they all live happily ever after. Crazy Rich Asians puts a spin on the traditional formula. In this modern re-telling for adults and older teens, Chinese-American university professor and regular girl, Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) falls in love with Nick Young (Henry Golding), who she believes to be a regular guy. Unbeknownst to her, Nick is the scion of a Singaporean property dynasty – the next thing to Asian royalty. Getting to happily ever after is going to be a bit more complicated.
The plot follows the standard fairy tale outline. Nick persuades Rachel to accompany him back home to attend a friend’s wedding and meet his family – without telling her anything about them. Rachel arrives in Singapore, completely unprepared for Nick’s “crazy rich” relatives. The Youngs (with a few exceptions) are not happy to welcome a woman they see as an underbred American fortune hunter. Nick’s social circle, including ex-girlfriends and wannabe girlfriends, shares that opinion. The most formidable adversary of them all is Nick’s mother, Eleanor Young, played with icy composure by Michelle Yeoh. Convinced that Rachel is unsuited to marry the heir to the family empire, Eleanor bullies, belittles and demeans the younger woman. Rachel is left with a terrible realization: she can’t tie the knot with Nick without cutting his family ties.
This is a major roadblock for the couple, given that Rachel and Nick prize the cultural commitment to filial piety. Both of them value and respect mother-child relationships. Nick loves his family matriarch, despite her attempts to control his life. And Rachel is very close to the loving single parent (Kheng Hua Tan) who raised her and worked hard to lift them out of poverty.
This positive message comes alongside some negative content issues, the biggest one of which is alcohol consumption. Characters imbibe constantly. They sip champagne on an airplane, gulp down wine in bed, drink beer on a floating dock, and use alcohol as a lubricant in almost every social event shown in the movie (and there are lots of them).
The single most visible issue in this movie, however, is never addressed by the filmmakers, but parents will definitely want to discuss it with their children. And that is money. Enormous amounts of cash are spent so lavishly that “conspicuous consumption” sounds like an understatement. A wedding attended by all the characters is rumored to have cost $40 million – an amount which doesn’t shock anyone, triggering instead a “keep up with the Joneses” response. Rachel initially views the family’s wealth with apprehension. Yet eventually she has to decide if she is going to remain who she has always been or play the same games as the rest of the Singaporean social elite. Will she have a happy ending or will she become just another “crazy rich Asian”? The answer depends largely on the viewer’s perspective.Directed by Jon M. Chu. Starring Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh, Henry Golding, Gemma Chan. Running time: 120 minutes. Theatrical release August 15, 2018. Updated August 14, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians
Rating & Content Info
Why is Crazy Rich Asians rated PG-13? Crazy Rich Asians is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some suggestive content and language.
Violence: A main character finds a dead fish in a pool of blood on her bed and a threatening message painted on the window. Female characters verbally and socially bully a main character repeatedly.
Sexual Content: The unmarried main characters are shown on several occasions sharing a bed and embracing in bed. A sexual relationship is implied. Married couples are shown embracing and fondling one anotheron a couch and in bed. A man’s bare torso is shown in the shower. A woman places a man’s hand on her breast. A minor character dances provocatively on more than one occasion. An unmarried couple are briefly shown at a party only partially dressed: her dress is twisted and he is not wearing pants (implying sexual interaction). A minor character punches his friend in the groin. A secondary male character takes pictures on his phone of a woman in her room without her permission. (She is fully clothed.) A male character comments negatively about the size of a woman’s breasts. Adultery is briefly discussed.
Profanity: Profanity is used throughout the film by both major and minor characters. A single sexual expletive and close to three dozen terms of deity, scatological terms, along with mild and moderate curse words are heard.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Alcohol is consumed in almost every social scene in the movie and in private moments.
Page last updated August 14, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians Parents' Guide
Crazy Rich Asians is the first movie since Joy Luck Club in 1993 to have an All Asian cast. Asians have observed that their stories are rarely told and that they are discriminated against in casting racially neutral roles. Do you think this is a problem? Do you think there is value in seeing actors from differentbackgrounds in movies? What do you think Hollywood should do to improve ethnic diversity in films?
The Young family has an enormous fortune. How does their money affect their lives, obligations and relationships? How does that wealth impact their life decisions, fiscal accountability and concerns about their public image? Do you think they could use their money in ways that would be more beneficial for them and for others in their community?
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Different cultures and social classes present problems for couples in Bride & Prejudice, Pride & Prejudice and Ever After. In The Prince and Mea Danish prince attends an American university incognito and falls in love with a fellow student. Her goal to attend medical school conflicts with his future royal role. An intimidating mother-of-the-boyfriend stars here too.