There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking when it comes to the general plot, aside from the obvious and very important cultural significance, and yet at the same time, it works wonders. Based on the book of the same name, we follow the story of Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an Asian-American woman who just found out her boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), is kind of sort of basically a billionaire. When Nick’s best friend is getting married back in Singapore, the two travel back to Nick’s home as a couple, where Rachel will finally get the chance to meet Nick’s mum Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh). However, their relationship is put to the test when Eleanor disapproves of Rachel, forcing Nick to choose between his partner and his family.
Constance Wu of Fresh Off The Boat fame is the wondrous, loveable core of the film, and she absolutely gives this her all with a truly breakthrough lead performance. Her character doesn’t have quite as important of a decision to make as her significant other does, which at times raises the question of why we’re focusing on the one character who struggles to find a central dramatic conflict, but she’s a far more developed character than Golding’s Young will ever be. It’s not so much a fish out of water story as it is a fish being accepted by water story, and the mistrusting dynamic between her and Yeoh’s brilliant portrayal of Eleanor is captivating.
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