Summer may be coming to an end, but we’re *seriously* burning up. Why? Because the most highly-anticipated romcom of the summer has truly #blessed us with eye candy.
Crazy Rich Asians, which hit theatres on Aug 15, is BIG for many reasons: It’s the first film featuring an all-Asian cast in 25 years (we repeat, the first all-Asian cast in a quarter of a freaking century). It’s breaking down stereotypes about Asian culture, bringing some much needed representation to Hollywood and the big screen. And, to quote FLARE writer Madelyn Chung: “Not to be shallow, but can we talk about the hunky, shirtless, Asian men?”
Seriously, the leading lads are sexy. Like, super sexy.
If you haven’t yet treated yourself to this delicious feast of finery, here’s a taste. First, there’s Nick Young—heroine Rachel Chu (Constance Wu)’s BF and heir to a serious family fortune—played by Hollywood newcomer (but longtime stud) Henry Golding. And he’s…OK to look at if you’re into breathtakingly handsome. Seriously, someone audibly gasped in the theatre when Golding took his shirt off, which like, same.
Perfect hair, fitted suits and the debonair swagger of a man who would both respect you as an equal and hold the door open for you? Is it hot in here or is it just us?
To quote icon and queen Peik Lin (Awkwafina), Crazy Rich Asians is basically “like the Asian Bachelor!” But, TBH, we should only be so lucky to see this level of hunkiness, and diversity, from the Bach franchise.
Same, Rachel. Same.
And Nick Young is far from the film’s only hottie-with-a-body. His good friend Colin Khoo, played by Chris Pang, is dorm-room-poster worthy beautiful.
And don’t worry, if men in suits aren’t really your thing, Crazy Rich Asians also delivers plenty of, um, “dressed-down” scenes for your viewing pleasure.
Eye candy so sweet, we have a toothache.
And let’s not forget Astrid’s husband, Michael Teo (Pierre Png) who makes a very *steamy* (pun intended) entrance in the film and trailer, as he exits the shower.
Our loins rn:
As superficial as all this ogling may seem, it’s also important. The portrayal of the Crazy Rich Asian hotties defies the stereotype of Asian men as nerdy, geeky, “unattractive” and romantically undesirable. As Chung notes in her FLARE piece, Crazy Rich Asians isn’t only challenging Asian stereotypes, but also “redefining North American standards of beauty by putting more Asian men and women into the spotlight, in a different light than they’re usually portrayed.” And this wasn’t happenstance.
“I think it’s important for Asian men to get portrayed that way,” co-screenwriter Adele Lim told Men’s Health of the shirtless scenes in the film. Lim and her co-writer intentionally depicted Asian men as sexy and masculine. They brought this thirst trap to life by emphasizing the joy of being attractive, fit Asian men—something that was inspired directly from the novel, like author Kevin Kwan’s description of Michael Teo as a military man who exudes masculinity and sexuality.
And this change could have effects off-screen as well. According to a 2014 OKCupid study, Asian men are considered less desirable than other men on the dating site. But maybe, with more representation and depictions of Asian men as romantically desirable on screen, we’ll see a change IRL. Journalist Alex Jung is optimistic, tweeting: “[W]hen my popularity on Grindr goes up by 68% this weekend we will truly know Crazy Rich Asians’ impact at the box office”
when my popularity on grindr goes up by 68% this weekend we will truly know Crazy Rich Asians' impact at the box office
— E. Alex Jung (@e_alexjung) August 14, 2018
And it’s not just about being desirable to other people, it’s also about feeling good about yourself. In Men’s Health, Pang—who plays “crazy rich” groom-to-be Colin Khoo, as seen above—notes that growing up, he only saw two versions of Asian masculinity in films: the martial arts buff who never got the girl, or the nerd who plays ping-pong. Those narratives shaped how he saw himself. “As a kid, you feel second-rate and you feel lesser about yourself,” he says. “You have a complex about your self-image, because of what you’re taught in the media.”
Convinced this movie is a must-see? On your way to the theatre rn?
Good. We’ll just be here, daydreaming about this face. All. day.