For months, the hype surrounding the film adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s hit 2013 book Crazy Rich Asians has been mounting—and this weekend, the film proved it was worthy of it all (and then some).
The film, which officially hit theaters in the U.S. on Friday, has been receiving a surplus of positive acclaim from both audiences and critics alike. Thanks to the movie’s cast of actors, who are all of East Asian descent—the first such cast in far too long—and aesthetically staggering sets (not to mention the incredible clothes), Hollywood’s standard rom-com formula got what seems to be a much-needed changeup.
Directed by Jon M. Chu, Crazy Rich Asians has already pulled in $16 million in two days, and is estimated to reach a whopping $22 million by the close of opening weekend, according to Variety. Within five days, the film is projected to accrue more than $30 million, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s a notably strong opening for a romantic comedy in an era where comedies have been experiencing a box office slump. Unsurprisingly, the film currently boasts a Certified Fresh score of 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
Taking to Instagram, the film’s star, Constance Wu, immediately showed her excitement after learning how well the film was being received. “#crazyrichasians is certified fresh…. and I can’t believe we’re playing in the DOME! Amazing. Thank you everyone for all your love and support.”
But Wu wasn’t the only person to express her happiness over how the film turned out—particularly with respect to its ability to break boundaries in the Hollywood inclusion arena. On Friday, the Asian Voices editor at the Huffington Post, Kimberly Yam, took to Twitter to explain, in an emotional eight-part thread, exactly what seeing a cast of predominantly East Asian descent in the film meant to her.
“You’re 8 years old. Your 3rd grade class orders chinese food & your father delivers it. You are so excited to see your pops in school. He’s your hero. But apparently other kids don’t think he’s so cool. They laugh at him and mimic his accent. You don’t want to be Chinese anymore,” she begins—continuing through a series of difficult moments throughout her life when she felt ashamed of her Chinese ethnicity while growing up in the U.S.
Concludes Yam in her last tweet: “You’re 25 years old. You see a movie with an all-asian cast at a screening and for some reason you’re crying and you can’t stop. You’ve never seen a cast like this in Hollywood. Everyone is beautiful. You’re so happy you’re Chinese. #CrazyRichAsians #RepresentationMatters”