'Crazy Rich Asians' plays well to hometown crowd in Singapore

Over the top but a lot of fun: That was the verdict for many Singaporean moviegoers after watching the Holly...

Posted: Aug 22, 2018 12:52 PM
Updated: Aug 22, 2018 12:52 PM

Over the top but a lot of fun: That was the verdict for many Singaporean moviegoers after watching the Hollywood blockbuster "Crazy Rich Asians," which was shot and set almost entirely in Singapore.

The romantic comedy, where the scion of a fabulously wealthy Singapore family brings home his not-so-rich Chinese-American economics professor girlfriend to attend his best friend's wedding and meet his disapproving parents, opened here Tuesday to packed audiences.

Arts and entertainment

Asia

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Continents and regions

Demographic groups

Media industry

Movie and video industry

Movies

Population and demographics

Singapore

Society

Southeast Asia

Wealthy people

For the most part, those in the crowd loved what they saw. People laughed knowingly at the depiction of shrill Chinese mainlanders and their over-the-top, nouveau riche ways, and groaned at the familiar sight of overbearing parents meddling in their children's love life.

"I was curious at how Asians would be portrayed through the Hollywood lens,'' said Wendy Chen, 28, who came to see the highly anticipated film with her fiancee. "The sense of duty towards the family, the tacky Chinese, all that exists," she said. "Still, the movie did not depict our culture in all its depth."

The movie is based on the best-selling novel by Singapore-born author Kevin Kwan. Insiders say the ultra-exclusive world featured in both book and movie is as real as the Lion City's stunning scenery.

Some locals say they can identify the real-life inspirations for the film's main protagonists.

"This kind of Singaporean elite exists, yes, but hardly as flashy," said businesswoman Eunice Lam, 35. "Singaporeans play down their wealth."

Ranked one of the world's richest countries, Singapore is believed to have the world's fastest growing number of billionaires.

Yet while many of Asia's super rich have made the city-state their home, it is not uncommon to spot tycoons and captains of industry catching the bus or queuing for a $3.50 plate of chicken rice.

Some viewers worried the movie ignored the reality of everyday life on the ground. "Not everyone is rich here, a lot of people live normal lives," said retiree Irene Ee, 65. "Now everyone will think we have so much money, we should pay for everyone else's needs."

With Wednesday a public holiday here, cinema owners decided to bring forward opening night to capitalize on the unprecedented buzz surrounding the film.

As some members of the all-Asian cast were still walking the red carpet for the official premiere at the island's iconic Capitol Theatre, they had to jostle with the throngs streaming out of special preview screenings who had already witnessed heroine Rachel Chu clash with the imposing mother of her on-screen boyfriend.

The local hype surrounding the opening of "Crazy Rich Asians" has been hard to escape. It has dominated social media.

Produced with the assistance of the Singapore Film Commission and the Singapore Tourism Board, state-owned media channels have been promoting the film relentlessly.

Outdoor screens along the famous main Orchard Road shopping district have the movie's trailer on an endless loop. Never has Singapore starred in a Hollywood movie like this.

No wonder then that moviegoers lining up to collect their tickets were so excited.

"I haven't read the book, I was sucked in by all the hoopla," said medical student Candice Leong.

The two-hour film's US debut exceeded box-office expectations. It led the weekend box office, raking in $35.3 million in its first five days, well above the studio's $18 million estimate.

For Singapore, it's the second time this year that the Little Red Dot, as locals refer to their tiny island-nation, has found itself the center of world attention.

It spent around $20 million to host the June summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 663511

Reported Deaths: 12633
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion908511647
Lake48510882
Allen35951638
Hamilton32138398
St. Joseph30096513
Elkhart25423417
Vanderburgh21283379
Tippecanoe20096203
Johnson16380360
Porter16009272
Hendricks15855300
Clark11999181
Madison11764319
Vigo11636230
Monroe10363163
Delaware9854179
LaPorte9790197
Howard9075198
Kosciusko8574111
Bartholomew7479147
Warrick7430151
Hancock7418132
Floyd7226170
Wayne6645192
Grant6437157
Boone610389
Morgan6103125
Dubois5923111
Dearborn549068
Cass545899
Marshall5432105
Henry542593
Noble510178
Jackson465167
Shelby461490
Lawrence4189113
Gibson401781
Harrison401064
Clinton396553
Montgomery388483
DeKalb386478
Miami357663
Knox357585
Whitley349837
Huntington346277
Steuben339255
Wabash332376
Putnam331159
Ripley327762
Adams323949
Jasper317043
White297452
Jefferson295474
Daviess285596
Fayette271956
Decatur271088
Greene261680
Posey261431
Wells258575
Scott251250
Clay241544
LaGrange241270
Randolph225576
Spencer218030
Jennings215744
Washington212127
Sullivan203639
Fountain201842
Starke188451
Owen182853
Fulton179337
Jay178328
Carroll176519
Perry173435
Orange171150
Rush165322
Vermillion160842
Franklin159535
Tipton146841
Parke139416
Pike127833
Blackford120727
Pulaski106744
Newton96632
Brown95139
Benton92213
Crawford91013
Martin80214
Warren75814
Switzerland7558
Union67310
Ohio53911
Unassigned0433

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 972605

Reported Deaths: 16750
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1123671214
Cuyahoga961861832
Hamilton735721034
Montgomery47359903
Summit40384802
Butler35577505
Lucas35489685
Stark29456803
Warren22464271
Lorain22068414
Mahoning19509537
Lake18445318
Clermont18425201
Delaware16499116
Licking15022189
Fairfield14563180
Trumbull14369413
Greene13595218
Medina13423226
Clark12288248
Wood11575163
Portage11050164
Allen10793216
Richland10316183
Miami10035189
Muskingum8195112
Columbiana8151200
Pickaway8067107
Tuscarawas8054227
Marion7996125
Wayne7886193
Erie6914140
Ross6152128
Geauga6083136
Hancock6006116
Ashtabula5978152
Scioto596280
Lawrence527118
Union513537
Darke5036114
Belmont496659
Huron4825107
Jefferson4806107
Sandusky4780108
Seneca4702107
Washington465791
Athens465047
Mercer458780
Auglaize456180
Shelby441679
Knox4037101
Putnam399390
Madison393553
Fulton380658
Ashland380581
Defiance372583
Brown369844
Crawford358396
Logan355772
Preble353678
Clinton340852
Highland328349
Ottawa324369
Williams302662
Jackson290545
Champaign288149
Guernsey287844
Perry269847
Fayette269141
Morrow260334
Henry246658
Hardin245858
Holmes243293
Coshocton237454
Van Wert229854
Gallia222631
Adams217036
Pike215626
Wyandot210447
Hocking194554
Carroll181341
Paulding160530
Meigs135730
Noble129233
Monroe117027
Morgan101119
Harrison100624
Vinton76613
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 30°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 29°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 30°
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
38° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 30°
Lima
Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 21°
Sunny, Cooler Thursday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events