SPECIAL NOTE: I forced myself to watch this much advertised and promoted movie from Hollywood, a rare and special presentation to the world about the CRAZY RICH ASIANS. Based on a novel by someone born in Singapore but came to live in USA since he was 11 years old, Kevin Kwan. Read what I think about the movie…I wrote this for South China Morning Post because they had published something I wrote for them published July 30, 2018. Steve, USA, August 16, 2018 Stephenehling@hotmail.com WeChat 1962816801
CRAZY RICH ASIANS should have been CRAZY RICH CHINESE because from A to Z the movie is essentially about one particularly filthy rich Chinese family in Singapore. I forced myself to see it in a local theater in USA August 15 and the story seems so familiar to me. Benny, my student at an elite Xiamen University in China, brought home his first girl friend. She had enough credentials to gain her a place as a professor in any distinguished university in China. Her mistake? She insisted her name be included in a new apartment Benny’s parents were about to acquire for Benny. They were not engaged at the time. Mother changed her mind, then demanded she should contribute no less than 200,000 RMB or more for her name to be included in the property. She refused and said goodbye. He brought home his 2nd girl and this time Mother told him to drop her immediately because she was too ugly. She added, the priest in the temple didn’t think they were meant for each other! I sat down with Benny and I told him to say this to his mom, because today’s youth do not know how to talk to parents, the product of one-child-policy in China. “Mom, I love you. I know you love me and did everything for me. I am now working and making money. Allow me to make certain very important decisions for my life. Because you cannot be taking care of me till I die”. Till you die? A filial child would never say that in China. Little did I know Benny married the girl a few months later. Only recently, two years later, I discovered Benny and his wife are now living in a huge fancy apartment, the gift of the wife parents, and also driving a fancy SUV, another gift from her parents. As we say in America, MONEY TALKS!
Filthy rich (those portrayed in the movie) or ordinary Chinese in China, one-child policy has changed the way parents treat their only male child! The heir to the throne! Would they care if they have 5 children? I doubt that! The movie is pure Hollywood creation and Hollywood ending…in China you could lose everything and marry at your peril, unless you marry someone like Benny’s wife. I feel sorry for many of my Chinese male students because they could not afford an apartment in China today! On the other hand, Filial Piety is slowly fading away in modern China. Stephen Ling, author and college professor, spent 7 years as a visiting professor in China. He spent 3 years writing THIS IS CHINA to educate Americans about the emergence of China as a new economic superpower in the world. August 16, 2018