Crazy Rich Asians brings more to the table than just glitz, glamour, and the much-needed representation to Hollywood. Right off the bat, it’s apparent that this iconic story depicts classic Asian parenting — flaws and all.
Kevin Kwan depicts classic Asian parenting in new movie
Before it was a silver screen hit, Crazy Rich Asians is first a novel by the brilliant Kevin Kwan. The story revolves around the relationship between Nick Young and Rachel Chu. The two date for a year before Nick decides to bring Rachel to his hometown, Singapore, for a wedding. However, Nick has been quite secretive about his family, leaving Rachel unprepared for the visit. The story goes on to show how hard Asian families are to please.
Following your passions vs. doing what is expected
On the interwebs, Asian parents’ perfectionism is quite a popular joke. Although, like many jokes, it actually represents quite a difficult truth. Asians, in general, are incredibly traditional. Unlike our Western counterparts, every decision is expected to be made with our parents and families in mind.
When Rachel first met Nick’s mom, Eleanor, she was obviously unpleased when she learned that Rachel “follows her passions.” Her underhanded response, saying that that’s a very American mindset, is quite relatable for many. For many Asians, especially the Chinese, passion comes second to family obligations. As a result, Eleanor finds more reasons to disapprove of her son’s choice of partner.
Later on, Eleanor even states that moms like her are obsessed with shaping their children’s lives—another classic Asian parenting move. From choosing their profession for them to being overly critical of who they date, Asian parents always have a say.
Asian moms still have their kids’ best interests at heart
Throughout the movie, Eleanor made it excruciatingly clear that she disapproves of Rachel. No matter how hard she tried, Eleanor couldn’t make her son see that Rachel is not a suitable partner. Despite all that, Nick still chose to marry Rachel. You would think that this means he will be shunned by his family. Yet the movie ends with Eleanor at the engagement part of Nick and Rachel.
Even though flawed in many ways, classic Asian parenting is still about doing what’s best. While Asian parents can talk a lot about disapproval and disowning their kids, most of that is just that, talk. More than anyone, Asian parents want to please their own kids the most. It is true that sometimes, it’s in the hope that their kids will, later on, see why they’re so tough and unbending. However, if their kids insist on their ways, they eventually come around and find themselves genuinely happy for the outcome.
Just like any parent, Asians excessively worry about their kids’ future. So much so that they tend to meddle in where they’re not wanted. In the end, classic Asian parenting is really more about seeing that their kids are happy while still being close to their families.
Crazy Rich Asians will hit Philippine theaters on August 22, 2018.