“I looked over again, my dad was wiping tears from his eyes"
Crazy Rich Asians is drawing immigrant parents to theatres.
The all-Asian cast film topped the US box office on its opening weekend and is proving that Asians have a place in Hollywood.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, first-generation Asian immigrants do not consider going to the movies as a keen hobby due to the language barrier, ticket prices and crowds.
However, Crazy Rich Asian has appealed greatly to the older demographic.
Based on Kevin Kwan’s hit novel with the same name, Crazy Rich Asians centres on the lives of wealthy Chinese families living in Singapore, as well as a considerable generation and culture gap.
Lie Shia Ong-Sintzel, 36, from Seattle, brought her parents to her second viewing of the film. Her Chinese immigrant parents from Indonesia had not been to the cinema for five years.
“They don’t really go to movies in the theater. I usually have to drag them,” Ong-Sintzel said. “I felt like this was a big occasion — a movie with an all-Asian cast.”
The film proved to appeal emotionally to her parents.
“I looked over again, my dad was wiping tears from his eyes,” Ong-Sintzel said.
Catherine Fanchiang, 27, from California, accompanied her parents to watch the film on her third viewing.
Fanchiang’s mother Kao Han Fan recognised Michelle Yeoh from the film but was touched most by Wu’s character.
“When you grow up in an Asian family … it will be in your mind when you do something, you will always think about other people,” Fan said. “You are not really, really selfish, thinking about yourself.”
“It was just a regular movie that just happens to have Asian people in it. It’s not like we’re ninjas or we’re good at fighting. It’s Asians existing in the modern world,” Fanchiang added.
67-year-old mother Audrey Sue-Matsumoto said she rarely goes to the cinema but had to see the film.
“It’s talking about Asian culture. It’s real Asians mixed with American-born Asians,” Sue said. “And I want to support the Asian movies.”
Her daughter said it was a very relatable film for her to watch with her mother.“It was good to watch it with my mom because I feel like it was very relatable in our situation,” she said. “She’s an immigrant, and I’m American-born. That movie has that generational distinction.”
In related news, Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan could face 3 years in prison for avoiding conscription in Singapore.
Click here to read Resonate writer Joie Ha’s review of the film.