There has been such a hype about a movie/book called “Crazy Rich Asians” that I can’t help but noticing.
This is one of the rare Hollywood movies with all Asian actors, something only The Joy Luck Club movie had 25 years ago.
The movie and the book is about, well you guess it, wealthy people in Asia.
More specifically, the plot is about a super wealthy Singaporean-born professor, Nick, who teaches History at NYU and is in love with an NYU Economics professor named Rachel.
Nick keeps a low-profile about his family’s real estate fortune (in the billions of dollars) until he takes Rachel to Singapore where she is shocked to see Nick’s family’s unimaginable wealth.
That’s also when the two start facing Nick’s mom’s disapproval of their relationship due to Rachel’s humble background.
To me, this sounds like a modern day fair tale where an innocent girl falls in love with a handsome prince who chooses to hide his background in order to find true love.
This is the story (almost) every young girl hopes will happen in their lives.
The movie has just been released and topped the box office in its first week.
I was SUPER excited when the trailer came out and couldn’t wait until August 15th (opening night) to see the movie.
I even hoped that Baby F2 would arrive after that date so that I could still go see the movie.
However, after a couple of months, my interest started to wane and is no match for my desire to save money. Mr. FAF is also not so interested. Basically, I will wait until the movie comes out on Netflix to watch it. I’m in no hurry.
I have not read the book. But based on the plot on Wikipedia (I know!) and the interviews with the author, Kevin Kwan, these are some of my thoughts on the story:
1. If you are from a wealthy family in Asia, your parents expect you to marry someone from an equally affluent family.
The single most important reason why Nick’s mom disapproves of his girlfriend, Rachel, is because she comes from a humble background. Rachel’s mom raised her as a single mom and faced many financial hardships along the way.
Despite his mom and grandma’s disapproval of Rachel, Nick chooses to forgo his inheritance to be with her. His grandma also disowned him for that decision.
In the story, Nick and Rachel are not the only couple who face disapproval due to the difference in their social statuses. Nick’s female cousin also had to break off her engagement to a tech billionaire because he doesn’t come from a family of long-standing affluence like hers.
This is to show that if you are born into a wealthy family and rely on your parents for inheritance or money, your marriage will also be determined or heavily affected by them.
Once you choose to pursue your love despite your family’s disapproval, you will also lose the good fortune that was supposed to belong to you.
Being with your true love does come at a high cost when your parents are rich and don’t approve of your relationship.
Related: When You Are Ashamed Of Being Poor
2. Birds of a feather flock together.
In the book, all of Nick’s family members are extremely wealthy and well connected with other powerful and rich people not only in Singapore but also in other countries in Asia and Europe.
His mom’s best friend is the wife of a billionaire. Even Nick’s best friend and ex-girlfriend come from two of the richest families in the world.
Nick’s family socializes with people of the upper echelons who speak and breathe power and money. His cousins also date people from other wealthy families.
Overall, one observation I got from the story is that rich people hang out with each other. And I think it’s totally understandable.
People tend to associate with those who are similar to them. They tend to work in similar fields, do business together, attend the same high-profile events, and get introduced to each other through their also wealthy mutual friends.
It’s a close circle that the poor and the middle class find hard or even impossible to enter. And if you have wealthy parents, chances are you will also be wealthy and well connected like them.
3. The story keeps me wondering what it’s like to be born into a super wealthy family.
I was born into a poor family, so I don’t need to wonder what being poor is like. I’ve been generally content with my life and don’t think much about being super rich and such.
But Crazy Rich Asians makes me wonder what my life would have been like if my parents were also real estate moguls like Nick’s.
I might face the same opposition to my marriage to Mr. FAF like Nick does. But it’d be nice to know what it’s like to grow up getting the best things anyone can only wish for (i.e. mansions, private pools, expensive food, first-class flights everywhere).
Related: My 12 Frugal Fantasies
4. Mr. FAF and I are determined to have our children grow up in a rich family.
Mr. FAF and I come from a humbling background, so it’s out of the question for us to grow up rich. It’s just too late and impossible.
We know that love is more important, but holding love constant, it doesn’t hurt to have our kids growing up in a financially secure family.
We would like for our kids to have what we desire but can’t have. It means that Mr. FAF and I need to work hard to build our careers and a more robust financial future for us and our children.
My hope is that our kids won’t have to be ashamed of growing up poor or being looked down on by their friends and adults for their parents’ income and jobs.
Related: Our 7 Expectations For Our Son
At the end of the story, true love still triumphs money. Nick listens to his heart rather than being blinded by the enormous inheritance from his family. He chooses Rachel, his girlfriend, over money.
Whether this decision is laudable remains somewhat debatable. After all, Nick leaves behind not only the money but also a mother and a grandma who raised him and love him unconditionally.
Is Nick too selfish to choose a girl he’s known for only a couple of years over his family? I’m not sure what the answer is. But the ending is definitely something many of us approve of. No amount of money can buy true love.
Nick would look so materialistic and shallow to dump Rachel at his mom’s request in the hope of inheriting his family’s fortune.
This is the fairy tale kind of ending that would melt any girl’s heart, mine included.
The moral of the story, I think, is that your life wouldn’t have much meaning if all you have is money and no one to love you and take care of you for the rest of your life.
And it’s not a bad idea to keep a low-profile about your wealth (stealth wealth) in order to find people who care about you and not your money.