Coloring in the lines: Movie “Crazy Rich Asians” to star all-Asian cast, emphasizes importance of representing minorities


Alina Yu

As summer ends and school  begins, it is never too late to stop by the theater to catch a movie. But what to watch?

Among film selections recently, I have noticed an increase of minority representation, whether that be nearly all African-American casts such as “Black Panther,” which grossed over $1.1 billion worldwide over its opening weekend according to Time Money, or female actors taking lead roles in “Ocean 8.” Moreover, this upward trend in increasing minority actors can be seen in TV series such as “Black-ish” and “Jane the Virgin.” Yet as an Asian-American,  I find myself somewhat detached from the films and TV shows in the entertainment industry due to the lack of Asian-American representation.

However, that is all about to change. Tomorrow, an all-Asian-American film will premiere: “Crazy Rich Asians.” Based upon the first book of the Kevin Kwan series, the romantic comedy follows New Yorker Rachel Chu who accompanies her boyfriend Nick Young to a wedding in Singapore, where she discovers her boyfriend is actually one of the wealthiest bachelors in that country. The movie, according to its website, follows Chu on this wild journey to truly get to know the love of her life while dealing with socialites and drama with every turn she takes.

Not only does the movie feature the first Asian American cast in Hollywood history, but it also provides commentary on the vibrant life of the world’s elite.

I am extremely excited to watch this movie. Its main character, Rachel Chu, is played by actress Constance Wu, who is one of my favorite Hollywood actresses most notable for her work in the also Asian-American series “Fresh Off the Boat.” Alongside that, the character of Rachel Chu herself is quite intriguing to me: a self-determined “ABC”—American Born Chinese—­living in New York as an economics professor with an avid love life.

This movie is setting the stage for a steady movement of rising minority representation around the world. Whether Asian-American, African-American or another ethnicity yet to come to theaters, “Crazy Rich Asians” is providing an example of unprecedented Asian-American representation in the entertainment industry. I am hopeful of its success among young Asian Americans like myself as well as the Hollywood community. I commend the efforts of Hollywood, especially in aculturally diverse nation like the United States, for increasing representation of minority groups in films, following the promising films like “Crazy Rich Asians.”

The views of this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Alina Yu at [email protected]