crazy rich asians asian-american

When American-born Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) meets her boyfriend Nick’s mother Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh) for the first time at their lush Singaporean mansion in Crazy Rich Asians, she enthusiastically lists off her accomplishments: lauded economics professor at NYU, talented, brilliant, probably played piano since elementary school. It’s a check list that any Asian-American parent would beam at, but to which Eleanor only coolly responds, “Pursuing one’s passion…how American.”

This fleeting confrontation toward the beginning of the film perfectly illustrates the divide between Asians and Asian-Americans that both communities still try to navigate today. And surprisingly, Crazy Rich Asians’ conflict between filial piety and passion gets to the heart of the muddled, ill-defined Asian-American identity.

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Romantic comedies have been a storytelling staple ever since Shakespeare introduced the world to Benedick and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, but the genre really found its footing in film with It Happened One Night in 1934. Frank Capra’s simple tale of a runaway heiress (Claudette Colbert) and an ambitious reporter (Clark Gable) was the first of only three features in history to sweep the Academy Awards in all major categories.

Clearly, a humorous spin on a romantic story resonated with audiences and the genre continued to thrive through the days of Hepburn and Monroe. However, the modern rom-com we know and love today really found its stride in 1989 with Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally. Nora Ephron, the godmother of rom-com writing, asked one simple question in her script, “Can a man and a woman just be friends?” and an entire era was born.

From ’89 to ’09, the cinemas were booming with clumsy, career-obsessed women who found a love they weren’t even looking for by simply bumping into an unsuspecting man with an alarmingly handsome face. For two whole decades, we were blessed with Hanks and Ryan, Julia Roberts and whoever, Nancy Meyers vehicles, and the firm affirmation that Christmas was the most romantic time of year.

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The Happytime Murders Infomercial

The Happytime Murders is only a couple weeks away from release, and the marketing campaign is finally ramping up to remind people that this raunchy puppet comedy is on the way. A short new red band trailer arrived earlier this week, now a batch of new videos featuring these filthy puppets has surfaced online.

First up, detective Phil Philips, one of the puppets assigned to a string of puppet murders, has quite the professional commercial for those in search of a private eye. Plus, check out a new PSA for the Alamo Drafthouse featuring a drug addicted puppet begging you to stop talking in theaters, and watch puppets read tweets reacting to the film’s red band trailer. Read More »

an evening with beverly luff linn trailer

The romantic-comedy has never been so absurd as it is in An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn. But hey, when you have Aubrey Plaza and Jermaine Clement in a movie together, what do you expect? Plaza is basically a real-life witch taken form, while I’m convinced that What We Do in the Shadows star Clement is an actual vampire. Put the two of them together, and voila, you have one of the trippiest, freakiest romances put to the big screen.

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Luke Null Fired - Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live will return for its 44th season this fall, and we’ll be reviewing every new episode as they come along. But one featured player who joined the cast last year won’t be returning with everyone else.

Chicago comedian Luke Null, who joined the cast at the beginning of the late night sketch show’s 43rd season last fall, has been let go from Saturday Night Live. If you hear that name and your first thought is “Who?” that’s exactly why he won’t be coming back to the staple comedy series. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Jon M. Chu interview

Crazy Rich Asians is helping to bring a so-so summer moviegoing season to an end with a bang. Director Jon M. Chu has not only made a romantic comedy that’s the sort of charming, character-driven studio spectacle we want but rarely see this time of year, but also a movie that’s touching a lot of audiences. For Chu, who previously directed two of the finest Step Up films and G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the incredible response to his adaptation of  Kevin Kwan‘s bestselling novel has been emotional and surprising.

Chu has made a romantic comedy oozing with charm, genuine romance, and visual splendor. With star-driven romantic comedies seemingly dying out, the electric chemistry between Candace Wu and Henry Golding is a breath of fresh air and makes for some exceptional escapism. It’s a complete and utter joy. Recently, Chu spoke with us about the romance at the center of the story, the response to the film so far, his collaborations with Kevin Kwan and the cast, and some of the movie’s standout scenes.

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buffy the vampire slayer dark horse

As we learned from last month’s confusion surrounding the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot, there can only be one Buffy. Now, it turns out, there can only be one Buffy title being produced at a time.

While we lie in wait for more news about the Buffy the Vampire Slayer reboot/sequel, creator Joss Whedon revealed that the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Dark Horse comic series will be wrapping up its lenghty run in the wake of Fox pulling the beloved show’s comic book license.

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Academy Conversations

Blockbuster summer is almost over, and while you might have seen a lot of big studio movies in theaters over the past few months, hopefully you also caught some of the indie gems that hit the big screen in between all the explosions, superheroes and general noise of tentpole releases.

For those of you lucky enough to catch lower profile releases like Blindspotting, Eighth Grade, Sorry to Bother You, Puzzle, The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, now you can watch a batch of Q&A videos from special screenings at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences featuring the filmmakers and casts of these acclaimed indie movies. Read More »

When watching Blindspotting, it’s hard to tell that it is the first major film from co-writers/co-stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal and the feature directorial debut for director Carlos Lopez Estrada – because it’s just that good. It has rightly received tons of critical acclaim for its portrayal of Oakland, police relations, race relations and even gentrification. 

And all of that deserves a closer look. This post contains major spoilers for Blindspotting.

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arizona trailer

Danny McBride breaks bad with Arizona, a new dark comedy that finds the actor murdering his way through the dry desert heat. McBride plays a disgruntled home owner who kidnaps a real estate agent, played by Rosemarie DeWitt. Things go from bad to worse very quickly, while McBride quips his way through the bloodshed. Watch the Arizona trailer below.

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