Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians trilogy offers so much. The first book opens with a fantasy that every person of colour has had: getting the upper hand when faced with a racist injustice. As the narrative unfolds, you understand that you're in the hands of a master: you're reading the writer who is picking up where Edith Wharton left off.
There is so much to say about the book's literary merits, but this post is about hot men.
Without a doubt, Charlie Wu is my number one Crazy Rich Asians man. He’s a fantastic character, plus it’s just been confirmed that the delicious Harry Shum Jr. (of Glee fame) is playing him in the film. Shum has a boyish kindness about him that’s perfect for the role. (Plus abs.)
Kevin Kwan captures the character’s perfection in a single sentence: "Charlie felt that Astrid had been far too stifled—all her life she had been treated like a hothouse flower, when in fact she was a wildflower that was never allowed to bloom fully." Charlie understands Astrid’s soul, swoon. This line also fits with my theory that Astrid dresses well because she has no other outlet for self-expression, no real control over her life despite having financial freedom. She’s a cool girl with nowhere to go but ateliers and charity luncheons.
Charlie’s stock rises even higher in Rich People Problems. If you haven’t read it yet, go out and get your copy now.
Nick's such a sploosh fantasy (professor, reads The New Yorker, listens to Talking Heads, from a discreet old money Singaporean family) that I can't imagine rating him as actual boyfriend material. I mean, it’s like saying, yeah, I want a pet unicorn to take out for rides in Kowloon Park.
“Even from afar, he stood out in high relief. Unlike the other fellows with their regulation Indian barbershop haircuts, Nicholas had perfectly tousled black hair, chiseled Cantonese pop-idol features, and impossibly thick eyelashes. He was the cutest, dreamiest guy she’d ever seen.” When I read that, I’m thinking Tony Leung with Aaron Kwok’s body. The kind of guy who looks like a perfect lanky indie rock dude and then his shirt comes off and it’s like, DAMN, NOW I UNDERSTAND WHY HE DOESN’T EAT SUSHI RICE. THANK YOU, GOD.
For all his perfection, Nick does have a single flaw: his partner, Rachel, who is the kind of self-hating ABC chick I loathe. Let's not forget that she had a "no Asian guys" policy, which translates to, "I only date white men" because you know she wasn’t swiping right for Idris Elba lookalikes. Then she meets Nick, who is essentially a prince, and then she’s all oh brown rice ain’t bad.
Who doesn’t fall in love with a prince who likes you for your mind, but whose good looks assure you that you’re hot?
Nick's best friend is his defacto sidekick, so I don't have any tingles when I read about him. I just imagine him as a good head of hair with a nice laugh who smells expensive.
Hard pass. I don’t even need to drop Rich People Problems spoilers to make this statement.
An aside: Maloy—M. Paramita to you—says, “My dumb ass would go for him. People should learn from my mistakes.” This is why she’s an Astrid and I’m a Peik Lin.
Sometimes I like to pretend I'm the kind of woman who likes them sweet and not too bright. Think Keanu Reeves in any of his movies. At moments like that, Nick’s cousin is really tops: “Alistair was just twenty-six, but his baby-face good looks and laid-back persona had already made him renowned for leaving a trail of broken hearts all over the Pacific Rim. (Aside from ex-girlfriends in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Taipei, Shanghai, and one summer fling in Vancouver, a diplomat’s daughter at his college in Sydney famously became so obsessed that she attempted to overdose on Benadryl just to get his attention.)”
The first time I ever took Benadryl, I’d had several glasses of white wine beforehand, which led to me hallucinating that a skeleton was combing my hair with its fingers. I don’t drink anymore, and that’s probably a good thing.
Rachel’s half-brother has no game. I have no game. This is not anything that could ever happen.
Just joking. I'd rather marry Kitty Pong and let her walk away with my non-existent billions. This being said, I’m really hoping that Ken Jeong is playing Eddie in the film because that would be the funniest thing ever.