CRAZY RICH ASIANS IS CRAZY FUCKING GOOD


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My thoughts on Crazy Rich Asians:

1. RomComs are far from my favorite genre but I thoroughly enjoyed this one, not just because of the representation. It had all the typical trappings of the genre--predictable, cheesy, etc.--but made some great statements about identity and family therein.

2. I started crying 40 minutes in, having nothing whatsoever to do with the narrative. It was about seeing a screen full of Asian faces in an American movie directed by an Asian American. What I found the most moving was the use of Chinese versions of American standards, the featuring of food as central to the Asian experience (my film will be called "Crazy Hungry Koreans (Who Bring Ziploc Bags To Buffets), and the mahjong game at the end.

3. Having devoured so many movies in which Michelle Yeoh wows us with her stunts--who could forget the scene in "Supercop 3" where she rides a motorcycle onto a moving train (g'head, Tom Cruise)--watching her play imperious and restrained matriarch is delightfully rewarding. That's a bad bitch right there.

4. Constance Wu is great and has fantastic comedic timing.

5. I've never seen so many beautiful Asians in a movie.

6. If anyone knows Henry Golding, Harry Shum Jr., Chris Pang, or Pierre Png and they are interested in dating a middle aged Korean Canadian mother of two teens, do tell them to DM me

7. I LOVED Astrid's takedown of Michael, which is essentially that "I will not shrink myself to make you feel bigger." HALLEFUCKINGLUJAH

8. Though we were definitely meant to drool over the opulence, they did a good job of also showing the grotesqueness of it, which is how I was raised to see such wealth as the child of middle class Korean immigrant academics.


COLLEGE APP PROCESS - LET IT GO

Advice for the parents who will sooner or later do the college app process for their kids: let them do as much of it as possible on their own. They need to and you need to let them.

As a first gen Korean immigrant, I had been worried about what college my son would get into since sixth grade. The only true stress I've experienced in my life. The fretting did me no good. It made me last out against him when he didn't deserve it. How I wish I could take those moments back. I think there's an inverse relationship between the declining rate of college degree relevance and the increasing rate of the tuition.

When I called one of my closest girlfriends whose son is one of my boy's best friends and only 15 days younger to rant, she said "Let Jin Long do it himself, Sophia. Our boys are going to be 18. They need to learn how to do things on their own." She was right and so I did.

I don't know where Jin Long will end up going to college, but I have faith that will git in where he fits in and be amazing at whatever he chooses to do. More importantly, I've raised a kind, just, empathetic, funny benevolent leader. And he's going to be a 6' tall Asian man so my contribution to the planet is pretty considerable.

FROM A BOY TO A MAN

There are countless moments that fill a mother with pride--first step, soccer games, music recitals, etc. But it's not until your children become young adults that you see who they will be as husbands and wives. Last week my 17 year old son asked me if I was free at 3pm the next day. I asked him why. He hugged me and said he wanted me to meet someone. Ah, it's about a girl. 
"What's her name?" I asked.
"Jamie." he responded, softly.
"I'd love to meet her."
They were early, me a little late. I met them at the new Wagamama in the East Village. As I arrived my son hugged me and whispered "You're so late!" I was less than ten minutes late but it was clearly an important occasion for him. They sat across from me, holding hands under the table.
Jamie is the third of my son's girlfriends whom I've met and I'm proud to say that I've liked all of them tremendously, hickies and all. They are all schoolmates, which I love. They are sweet and kind and smart beautiful and clearly adore my boy, as they should.
Watching my son be a boyfriend is magical. He's affectionate and adorable and respectful. I asked another girlfriend if he opened doors, walked on the curb side of the street and she said
"Yes! He does all that! He said you taught him that."
I have always said that I am raising my children to be kind and benevolent leaders and part of that is being an amazing partner. I left the restaurant and patted myself on the back.
"Yeah, Sophia, sometimes you can be a really shitty mother, but today showed you that you're doing a great job."

 

 

CHRIS LIGHTY PT. 3

The typical scene in Chris' office. Him on his Blackberry, grimacing. Me on him, clowning.

The typical scene in Chris' office. Him on his Blackberry, grimacing. Me on him, clowning.

It was 5 years ago today. I was eating at Angelika Kitchen with Elizabeth Mendez-Berry and I got the frantic texts and calls from Joan. We hadn't spoken in a while and it was curious that she was calling. She texted and begged me to call her back. I stepped outside.

"Hey, Joan. What's going on?"
"Soph, it's Chris." her voice was shaking. Something was horribly horribly wrong. "He's in the hospital. He shot himself."

I don't remember much of the conversation after that. My father (rest his soul) had passed only six weeks prior. But he was 84 and had lived a good long life that included meeting his grandchildren. He had been sick for years so his passing was like watching the slow chugging arrival of a steam engine from the distant horizon. Chris' (rest his soul) passing was like getting hit by the Bullet Train. 

My father's quality of life had deteriorated considerably in his last weeks. Thus his passing was a gentle sigh of relief breathed during a quiet afternoon. Chris' departure was an aching Munchian scream into a dark yawning chasm that seemed to have no bottom and no end. He was a man in his prime and, it appeared, on top of the world. But we never know what's going on in someone's life.

So we should ask.

EXPLANATION, NOT DEFENSE, OF MY INSTAGRAM

A brief explanation, not defense, of my Instagram.
I am not trying to recapture my 20s, I am celebrating the fuck out of my 50s.
I wouldn’t go back to being 25 for nathan. I love where I am, right here, right now.
I am not using social media to get dick. I assure you, my bench is plenty deep with or without IG.
My goal is for people, especially women of color, to look at my flix and be inspired, not jealous.
I want them to think “This bitch is 52 and she is living her life out loud. She is fearless and confident, and I want to move more like that.”
Know why? Because nothing out here tells us we are bad and beautiful and powerful. We need to find that within ourselves and each other.
I’m at the gym 6 days a week, I eat clean, and sleep well.
I don’t smoke, drink, or get high.
My body is my temple and it happens to have legs for days.
So if you don’t like it or don’t get me, get the fuck up off my page, B.

My name is Sophia Chang and I was raised by Wu-Tang.