- Review by Kaya Savas - October 11, 2018
Crazy Rich Asians came rolling in on a wave of anticipation and hype. This film adaptation of the celebrated novel had a lot of media and press coverage mainly due to the movie featuring a 100% Asian cast. It became a celebration of inclusion, but would the film end up being good? Yes, yes it would. Crazy Rich Asians was praised by critics and audiences alike, and deservedly so. If you look past the social importance of the subject matter and cast, the film is a damn good romantic comedy. Something the genre has not seen in a long time.
Director Jon Chu has created a classic romcom that harkens back to the dramadies of the 90’s. The film has that sentimental heart with absolutely wonderful characters that reminded me of movies like As Good As It Gets, Father Of The Bride, and Mrs. Doubtfire. Director Jon Chu brought his vivid visual style to this story, and it worked brilliantly. For the music, he called on the talents of Brian Tyler who delivered one of the most refreshingly enjoyable scores of the year.
Jon Chu and Brian Tyler previously worked on Now You See Me 2, and Jon knew he wanted Brian by his side for this journey. Brian approached the score by building this poignant and sentimental heart to the narrative, while surrounding it with a big band sound that celebrated the joy and life of the story. The score feels like it took a time machine from the 60’s to get here, and the music fleshes out the characters and tone perfectly.
The love theme becomes the heart of the film, because love is what this movie is about. It’s about love between significant others, love between friends and love between family. The simple motif echoes all these feelings without ever becoming melodramatic or too saccharine. The jazzy band side of the score is a perfect compliment to the sights and sounds of modern day Singapore, where the movie takes place. Tyler doesn’t let the big band sounds overshadow the score though, because the character moments are a bit more delicate and fragile. A wonderful balance is found here, and the overall narrative being told resonates in a big way here. We never feel a jarring change of tone, and everything flows superbly. As the music carries us through the story it also shares space with a great selection of songs. Brian is able to navigate the songs perfectly and make everything work as one cohesive whole.
The end result is a score that is fun yet sentimental. The characters shine through every note and through the setting and atmosphere of the film. Brian has brought Jon’s vision to beautiful vivid life, and has given us one of most refreshingly original scores of the year despite its homaging to the styles of the past. It’s impossible to walk away from Crazy Rich Asians without a smile on your face and a tear in your eye.