Asians have been underrepresented in American film in the past decade, as the last movie featuring an all Asian cast has been The Joy Luck Club in 1993. It has been known that Hollywood mainly casts Caucasians in most of their films, and many minority groups, especially Asians, have been reduced to small background characters that usually play a silly, joking character. But this past August, two films break this barrier by releasing movies that star Asian characters with an Asian background story: Crazy Rich Asians and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Crazy Rich Asians released in the USA on August 15th, scored number one in the box office with $76.8 million in North America. With only a six percent drop from the previous week, this movie has proved to be wildly successful. Crazy Rich Asians star an all Asian cast and tells a story of a girl, Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) who travels to Singapore with her rich boyfriend Nick Young (Henry Golding) for his cousins wedding. She deals with a lot of family drama as she finds out his family is ridiculously rich. The film has received positive reviews and a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was released on Netflix on August 17th, and has went viral across all social media platforms. This film follows a Korean American girl Lara Jean Covey as she deals with the consequences when the secret love letters she wrote to her crushes were accidentally sent. Both films have achieved many goals and dreams because Asian Americans are not represented in the film industry; these films have provided large comfort and joy for many Asians all across the country.
Angela Kim, a senior at Valencia High School talks about the impact of these movies starring Asian people. “I feel that these movies, by featuring minority races as the lead cast, have been able to break the barriers of the public’s otherwise narrow mindset of what is standard or conventional in a Hollywood production, and have also been able to open doors and pave ways for others who may be a part of the minority, but are still aspiring to pursue careers in the film industry.”
These movies have largely moved and impacted the public, and it is safe to say that more of these films should be made and films starring any minority group should be normalized and praised.