Jon M. Chu's Crazy Rich Asians movie makes a number of changes to the story of Kevin Kwan's novel, especially when it comes to the ending. Hollywood has been adapting books to the big screen for decades, but how much a movie changes the events or characters of its source material varies greatly. In the case of Crazy Rich Asians, Chu's movie - with a script by Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim - actually stays pretty close to the book. The movie even keeps Kwan's first scene, a prologue of sorts set decades before the main events of the film.
The bulk of Crazy Rich Asians follows the love story between Rachel Chu (Constance Wu), an NYU economics professor who spends her spring break traveling to Singapore with her long-term boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding). In Singapore, Rachel meets Nick's incredibly wealthy family, including his mother Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh), visits her college friend Peik Lin (Awkwafina), and attends the wedding of Nick's best friend, Colin Koo (Chris Pang) to Araminta Lee (Sonoya Mizuno). Unfortunately, the trip doesn't go as planned, with Rachel facing backlash from the girls at Araminta's bachelorette party and Eleanor, who doesn't believe she's good enough for Nick. Ultimately though, Crazy Rich Asians gives Rachel and Nick a happily ever after rom-com ending, with the pair getting engaged with Eleanor's blessing.
Of course, it's nearly impossible to adapt every aspect of a book for the movie version. As such, there are certain characters, storylines and events that are changed for the Crazy Rich Asians film. One of the biggest things to have been changed from book to movie is the ending. So, we break down exactly how the ending of the Crazy Rich Asians movie is different than the book and discuss why the changes were likely made.
- This Page: Astrid & Charlie Wu's Relationship
- Next Page: Rachel's History & The Proposal
Astrid Reconnects With Charlie Wu Later
For the movie, Crazy Rich Asians greatly simplifies Astrid's (Gemma Chan) storyline wherein she discovers her husband Michael (Pierre Png) is cheating on her and she decides to leave him. In the book, this plot is much more drawn out, with Astrid tracking down Michael's mistress and learning the woman has a child - and wondering whether or not the child is Michael's. Meanwhile, Astrid reconnects with Charlie Wu (Harry Shum Jr.), a man she had been engaged to when they were younger but left because her family disapproved of the match.
In the movie, Astrid and Charlie reconnect at Nick and Rachel's engagement party, as part of the Crazy Rich Asians mid-credits scene setting up a sequel or spinoff. This is a major change since it alters when the two reconnect. In the book, it's at Colin and Araminta's wedding, and Charlie subsequently helps Astrid investigate Michael's mistress. Since Astrid doesn't meet Charlie again until later in the film's story - in a mid-credits scene, no less - her storyline is much more focused on just her relationship with Michael and how that dissolves.
While fans of the books may be disappointed that Astrid and Charlie don't really get to interact in Crazy Rich Asians, save for their eyes meeting at the engagement party, it ultimately works better within the confines of a two-hour film. Certainly, it's unfortunate that an actor of Shum Jr's calibre was reduced to what is essentially a cameo, but if Crazy Rich Asians is successful, perhaps Charlie and Astrid will be the focus of their own movie. Plus, since Crazy Rich Asians is meant to be the story of Nick and Rachel, it makes sense for Astrid's storyline to be reduced.
Next Page: Rachel's History & The Proposal
- Crazy Rich Asians (2018) release date: Aug 15, 2018