Why we should all watch ‘Crazy Rich Asians’2 minute read

The romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians opens this weekend in most countries around the world, and I think that we should all watch it. Here is why.

I loved Black Panther. A lot of black people loved black panther, deservedly so in my opinion. It was a big blockbuster movie celebrating all of the best from the continent and blackness in general. It was great and important for many black people. But that is not where the narrative should stop. It was also just a good superhero movie, like many of the Marvel movies before it. But here is the thing.

People of colour have grown up often not feeling well represented by popular culture. Often the heroes are white people. As a person of colour, I have had to do the work and imagine myself in some aspect of them, or them in some aspect of me. As a result, it feels quite easy for me to consider a white person as a human with complexities. Because I have seen it and I have acknowledged it.

So here is my point, it is important that we all watch Crazy Rich Asians. Besides being the first major Asian American film since The Joy Luck Club which came out 25 years ago, it is also a beautiful thing to see a minority group represented in a big blockbuster movie and my Asian friends are all understandably excited. But the rest of us should be excited as well. Not just to see the importance of representation in action, but also so that we can continue to challenge the concept of white being the norm.

Billions of non-British people cite Love Actually, the most British of millennial rom-coms, as their favourite romantic movie. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan made four movies together where they fall in love with each other and nobody batted an eyelid. Yes, Crazy Rich Asians is specific but the truth is, it, like all genre films, is universal. A couple falls in love and then have to fight for their love. They just happen to be crazy rich Asians. 

So I am going to line up with my girlfriends and watch Crazy Rich Asians in the movie theatre. I am going to hype the hell out of this movie as a fan of the book by Kevin Kwan that it is based on and as a fan of pop-culture movies and as someone who is excited to find myself in a new protagonist, and them in me.

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Naliaka Odera is a freelance writer, editor and social media consultant. She is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of ‘Of Africa’, an online platform that celebrates women of African descent while fostering editorial talent. She is a proud Kenyan who has lived in Belgium, Canada and Thailand. While in Canada, she earned a BA at the University of British Columbia. She has an ongoing love affair with words and loves great conversations as well as all genres of literature. Her writing can be found at www.naliakao.com. Through Of Africa and her consultation, she stresses the importance of people learning vital communication skills to be able to speak for themselves.