POVs from POCs - Crazy Rich Asians edition

Reactions and reviews have come in from far and wide with Crazy Rich Asians.

Judging by online sentiment since the movie’s premiere one week ago, the masses have responded positively to the film — one we implored all Asians to support.

By the numbers, Crazy Rich Asians scored 93% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a mark even a Tiger Mom can be proud of. It also exceeded expectations in the box office, earning $34 million in the opening weekend and making it the first rom-com in three years to open to more than $20 million. The overwhelming reaction to the Hollywood film is understandable, considering the impact it can have on future major movie productions starring an all-Asian cast.

Here at Cold Tea Collective, we reached out to our own writers, and to local personalities and influencers — asking for their thoughts on the hit summer flick:

Lee Shorten

Actor @lcshorten

Gemma Chan was phenomenal and the Mahjong scene alone is worth the price of admission. But this is just the beginning.

For years they’ve been trying to tell us that we don’t sell and our stories don’t matter.

But we do.

Natasha Jung

Cold Tea Collective
Co-Founder & Executive Producer

Awkwafina killed it. Gemma Chan is my new girl crush. And *GASP*, they actually sexualized Asian males!

Better than your average rom-com, I laughed, I cried, and all at once, it felt natural, yet sensational to see people that look like me represented as complex, whole characters, with big hearts on the big screen.

What gets me almost even more than watching the film or reading the books is that this event has awakened and brought together a global community of people sharing their own stories as to why they connect with the film even in the slightest way. Through personal storytelling and shared experiences, it helps us understand more of what makes us the same rather than what makes us different — and that’s why Cold Tea Collective exists.

Linton C

Cold Tea Collective
Co-Founder & editor @
Linton C.

I have a confession to make: I wasn’t impressed with the movie. I think it’s because I read the book first. A book is able to convey nuances that a movie doesn’t have time or capacity for, so my expectations were pretty high going in.

I absolutely loved the MJ scene — and cannot express how hyped I was during that part with so much meaning and depth that I didn’t see in the rest of the movie. I still advocate for you to go see it and make your own opinion!

Anthony Lam

Photographer and writer @justanothervancouverite

I remember the day after, I was walking around town with a smile on my face. I was gushing with a new sense of pride and confidence and I had no idea where it came from.

I looked around at the people who looked differently than I did, they didn’t seem any more or less different than before I watched Crazy Rich Asians. It was me.

I was different. And I realized shortly after, it was because I now believe I can be as beautiful as they are. That was different.

Devon Wong

Cold Tea Collective writer, @devonwong

As an Asian-Canadian and someone who has always celebrated visible minorities in mainstream media, as well as being a former expat who had the fortune of living in Singapore for 3 years, naturally I was thrilled to watch this much-hyped film that was blowing up my news feed for months.

I know some of my friends in Singapore find the whole thing offensive and inaccurate, and while I can agree that the film definitely doesn’t represent ME in the characters (other than the face value of our shared skin tone), I still think it’s something worth celebrating. As minorities, Asians in North America lack leading roles in our native film industry, and perhaps it’s something more difficult to appreciate for those who grew up in Asia, and see themselves more frequently represented in their local media. I do think it’s still important to support the film, if even to engage and amplify dialogue on the film’s shortcomings.

Hillary Nguyen-Don

Editor-In-Chief at Mix Vancouver @yellunhandygroin

Crazy Rich Asians was everything I wanted it to be, and more. The film was absolutely hilarious, heartwarming, and relatable. Although I was a little disappointed with the lack of Charlie Wu (Harry Shum Jr.), all was forgiven when Peik Lin (Awkwafina) was on screen.

Being born two months after the release of Joy Luck Club, CRA is the first and currently, only Asian-American fronted film to exist during my entire lifetime. Having grown up with essentially zero Asian representation on the big screen, this movie is more than just a movie to me.

It’s a movement.

Jacky Chui

Content creator @jackymchui

Growing up and watching Jet Li films or seeing the Yellow Ranger from Power Rangers, I felt like I was not Asian enough since I didn’t see myself in these roles (it especially rang true when I was studying acting and actively going out for acting auditions). Having an all-Asian cast in a contemporary Hollywood film opens up the dialogue for so much, such as the fact that people are different and despite what your personality is like or what your interests are, it doesn’t take away from your ethnicity.

It was also endearing to see the typical Asian family quirks and comments in the film. I don’t visit my grandparents/aunties without hearing how much weight I’ve lost, how dark I’ve gotten, or how I need to drink more Chinese soup. Overall, Crazy Rich Asians is a great film that touched on many important points making it a fun, emotional, and relatable film for people of all cultures and ethnicities.

— —

Read more of our articles about Asian representation here:

Why We Need To Support Crazy Rich Asians

Hustle x Heart: Lee Shorten, Actor Part 1

Hustle x Heart: Lee Shorten, Actor Part 2

Creatives Roundtable

18 Asian Canadian Women You Should Know

Trusting the Process with Hayden Szeto

Napa Cabbage

ParticipACTION Needs to Step It Up for Canada 150

The Moment You Realize You’re the Token Asian

Making Asian American media

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People chatting at the Making It documentary screening.

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