crazy rich asians toronto

Toronto can’t get enough of Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy rich studio executives are raking in the dough right now thanks to John M. Chu's highly-anticipated new rom-com Crazy Rich Asians; a film that's now dominating both the box office and public interest in North America.

Based on a best-selling book by Kevin Kwan, the Warner Bros. movie launched well-above expectations late last week with a five-day tally of $35 million US by Monday morning.

It's the first studio film to feature an all-Asian cast since The Joy Luck Club in 1993 and one of the only romantic comedies to open with more than $20 million this decade — but you've probably already guessed that if you were near a cinema this weekend.

Crazy Rich Asians was the film to see in Toronto this weekend, and screenings will likely continue to sell out for a while thanks to all the hype.

Critics and audience members alike are loving the flick for its witty script, spectacular visuals and outstanding performances from the likes of iconic Chinese action star Michelle Yeoh, Fresh Off The Boat actress Constance Wu, doctor-turned-funnyman Ken Jeong and American rapper Awkwafina.

Many are also praising the film for its representative casting and portrayal of Asian families.

"For decades, female Asian actors have been asked to portray stereotypes like the vindictive dragon lady, the submissive China doll, the nerdy overachiever or the inert sex worker," writes Toronto journalist Karen K. Ho for TIME Magazine.

"Crazy Rich Asians avoids all of these, instead showing the nuances of Asian women’s experiences across generations."

Critics have been comparing the film's combination of charm and cultural commentary to Kim's Convenience — a popular Canadian sitcom based on a play that first premiered at the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Two stars from the the CBC Television show, which focuses on a Korean-Canadian family who own a convenience store in Moss Park, actually hosted a screening of Crazy Rich Asians at Yonge-Dundas Square on Sunday.

Simu Liu (Jung) and Andrew Phung (Kimchee) were two of the many Toronto residents who packed themselves into the sold out theatre last night.

If you haven't had the chance to see this movie yet, don't worry. With opening weekend numbers like this, it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

"Crazy Rich Asians has the potential to revive the romantic comedy—a genre that has foundered at the box office recently—for a massive general audience," explained Ho.

"By representing Asian people so vividly, the film could set a precedent for many more stories like this one to be told. It’s coming at the right moment," she continued. "After years of work in the game of Hollywood, Crazy Rich Asians is poised to win."

Lead photo by

Awkwafina


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