It has been quite a month for remakes. As with all remakes or medium shifts, I guess would be the best term for book to movie, or in the case of "Freaky Friday", book to musical to movie, the challenge is to view it as it's own thing. Now partly that's not true, obviously "Crazy Rich Asians" is hoping all the book fans show up. But if we can get a little gritty, very few books do numbers that would allow them to be considered successful movies. So they are clearly hoping to get more.
I enjoyed the book. It took me a few tries because I was working with audio and it's long and I can only do audio while moving. But I was there for Rachel and Nick. I loved the large cast, but I cared a little less about the details of some of the horrible relatives. I got it. They were terrible.
Movies have to compress (unless they are based on short stories). I think this movie did an awesome job of compressing so that the essence of Bernie and Eddie and Astrid are all there, but Nick and Rachel get the main time. There are no footnotes, but I think - to me at least - it seemed accessible but not handholding. It was a delight as someone who had read the book and I think would make me intrigued about the book if I had not read it. There are changes, from Nick's Mom Eleanor being there the whole time to Peik Lin's family being in on the Young family fortune the whole time. There are also some bits that may be stolen from future books (I have been hoarding the next two 'til after the movie), since there are some resolutions that don't appear in the first book. Overall it is great.
I cried when Rachel runs away and her best friend is there to hug her. And there's a look at one point between two mothers that said so many things.
My half Chinese grandmother did not get to see this, nor did my dad. My grandmother was a nurse who later got into real estate with my grandpa to help support the kids. This isn't really their story. But I like to think they would have loved it. So it coming out in my dad's birth month seems special to me.
PS. There have been concerns raised about Awkwafina's appropriation of AAVE, and I think that is something it is fair to discuss.