Crazy Rich Asians From A Crazy Not-So-Rich Asian Perspective

Picture this.

You’re 5 years old: Your dream job is a princess but if that doesn’t work out, you’ll be an actress/singer instead. The world is yours and you don’t see yourself different from any of your friends. You love yourself and everyone else for who they are. Your biggest problem is deciding whether to colour in crayon or texter.

At 12: Still blasting Hannah Montana and the soundtrack of a very popular Disney Channel movie with a lead who looked kind of like you… But claimed for years she was Mexican/Hispanic… but you know for sure she’s half Asian hmm. You’re obsessed with The Twilight Saga and at lunch you and your friends role play but you can’t be Bella, or Alice, or Rosalie – you can be Leah (the Native American supporting character). Btw, bringing a home cooked lunch to school, especially if it involves rice is ‘different’, and not in a good way but your mama’s cooking is delicious so you let the haters hate. But the thought does creep in – sometimes you wish you were white.

At 15: Writing and telling stories is your favourite thing and you are still so in love with performing. You’re geared with dance, singing and acting training and experience. Sushi is now very cool and trendy. Your classmates make racist jokes because they ‘forget’ you’re a person of colour or because ‘you’re not like the others’. You audition for the lead of your school musical – that Disney one that you so dearly love that meant to display diversity. You lose out on the supporting lead to a stereotype white girl. You are an advocate for the most talented and therefore appropriate person doing the job… The lead cast is 100% white. Your favourite movies/TV shows consist of a Caucasian cast, if there was an Asian – they played a minor role, you don’t remember the character let alone the actor. When people hear you want to be involved in showbiz they give you a look (oooh, acting is tough, there’s not a lot of roles for…). You take a look at available jobs and they’re looking for white girls – blonde and blue eyes, brunette and big eyes etc. You want to be so proud of your cultural identity but still can’t help occasionally but imagine how convenient it would be to be white or at the very least, a natural blonde. You think they’re right. Maybe you’re not profitable as a lead. You think back to when there was an Asian lead character and besides London Tipton and Lucy Liu in Charlie’s Angels #badass, nothing really stands out. All the other roles seem to be martial arts, restaurant owner related or a friend to the lead.

You’re now 20: Up until this point, you became increasingly disappointed with Hollywood and their casting choices that made Asian actors second class, casting white actresses in roles that should’ve gone to equally talented Asian actors. You first watch this movie with your best friend. The final scene plays out and by this point you have both cried from laughter (Awkwafina & Ken Jeong are gold wow) and gotten emotional (the wedding oh my), you are now crying tears of joy with the perfect ending to a wholly marvellous movie. We exit the theatre and she says “That was amazing, I forgot they were Asian.” We have become so accustomed to white people telling stories on screen, many people in the industry saw a movie such as this one high-risk but if you can imagine, on a world population scale, being Asian is the majority so it’s astounding the last American made movie with an Asian cast was The Joy Luck Club (1993) – 25 YEARS AGO?!?? You get home and begin to cry again, you cannot believe you just witnessed a beautiful love story for mainstream viewing loaded with a crazy talented fully Asian cast with an obviously incredible production crew. You watch it for a second time but now with your family. Your parents say they could watch this film over and over again.

You are so proud to be Asian, worthy of being represented as intelligent and eloquent, as beautiful and elegant, as sexy and well-dressed, as relatable and multidimensional, and just as a human with a great story. You hope everyone sees this movie. You never want a young girl who looks like you or the cast of Crazy Rich Asians to doubt her dreams are achievable because of a dry spell of representation. You are so much more than your race and to have a movie that displays that but happens to show the cultural side of being Asian is so important. You are so proud.

This is the movie you needed more than you knew.

With love and light always, M ♥️

 

Know Your Enemy By Tasman Anderson Review

Know Your Enemy Cover

“We’re going burning.” Australian writer, journalist and author, Tasman Anderson’s first novel, Know Your Enemy is a really good read! It was fast-paced, high action, and engaging – a top job for a debut novel!

Nicole is desperate to leave Silverlake, the small town she’s spent her whole life in, and her plans for escape and her future career are all falling into place. But when the local heartthrob Aiden points out the one thing holding her back, Nicole’s response sets off a chain of bad decisions that leaves her second guessing everything she ever knew about herself.  Does Nic have what it takes to survive in this unknown world, or is she letting her desires ruin her life?

To be honest, my favourite character was Libby; with Aiden being a close second (one to add to the fictional crush list). Not too often I find myself loving the ‘best friend’, but Libby played an essential role in my eyes and her character developed really well. Anderson did a fantastic job at creating believable characters with no two people exactly alike. As a teenager with big aspirations myself, I could relate to Nicole and sympathised when her and the group were in trouble.

I enjoyed the style that Know Your Enemy was written in and appreciated the use of tension and showing and not simply telling, which was effective. However, I guessed the ‘plot twists’ that arose throughout the book including the ‘major bombshell’. Although I tend to enjoy chick-lit and dystopian, I do like a good dose of mystery and action and was eager to finish the novel. I don’t know much about cars but I loved the detail especially when it came to the upmarket drives! Based on my knowledge, there hasn’t been a story like this published yet so it was great to read a fresh storyline that included common yet important themes such as whether the truth really sets you free. I would recommend it to high schoolers looking for something fun and intense but don’t mind a little teenage drama and romance. Anderson’s, Know Your Enemy is an exciting YA read and I do look forward to reading her future works. I would rate it a 3.5/5 but round that off, it becomes 4 stars.

Rating:

****

Love, Rosie

Love, Rosie  c. Lionsgate Films

Love, Rosie
c. Lionsgate Films

Rated: M

I’ve seen a fair amount of movies at my local cinemas this year so far, and although I have not seen Mockingjay, I’m calling love, rosie my Movie Of The Year, hands down!

Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were five, but when it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies. They have no secrets and have big plans and dreams for the future including each other.  One day Alex gets a scholarship offer from a college in Boston. Devastated that they will be separated, they make plans for Rosie to join Alex in the US. Everything seems to be falling into place, until the eve of her departure, when Rosie receives some news that would change her life forever…she is pregnant, and to her prom fling, Greg. It seems all hope is lost, but Alex and Rosie soon find out that fate isn’t done with them yet.

Let’s start with the cast. Starring Brits Lily Collins as Rosie, Sam Claflin as Alex, and model Suki Waterhouse (Bethany), you kind of get the gist that this movie is full of gorgeous people. This cast is so flawless, it’s crazy! Alongside them are actors Tasmin Egerton – Sally, Christian Cook – Greg, and Jaime Winstone – Ruby and yes, all British.  The acting is phenomenal.  Lily and Sam’s chemistry is amazing and both are so likeable in their characters. So besides their charm, good looks, and great acting, their accents are a yes 😀 C’mon, what foreigners don’t love a British accent?

Let’s briefly chat about the soundtrack. It is fabulous, retro but also has a few oh so romantic tracks! There’s some Elton John – Tiny Dancer, Lily Allen – F*** You, I’ll never fall in love again by Iba, Peggy Lee’s I’m Confessin’, and if you’ve watched some trailers The 1975’s Chocolate.

The actual story is so beautiful, both Alex and Rosie live their lives with multiple ups and downs, they get tangled in a massive mess but yet, their immense love and support for each other never waivers.  This is one for younger women, I’d suggest 15+ but definitely not one for the gran, if you get me… If your guy friends are game, why not?  Warm, witty and charming, packed with feels, Love, Rosie captures the love between two friends and follows their wonderful journey from Ireland to Boston then back home again. “I’ve realised, no matter where you are, or who you’re with, I will always, truly, completely love you.”  #TheFeelsAreReal

Rating:

*****