Crazy. Rich. Asians. I want to say enough said, but I have so much more to say about this movie, about how this movie got made, and about how (hear me out) you should choose values over money!
The romantic comedy officially opens in theaters nationwide on August 15th, but there's a special engagement this Wednesday, August 8th. Probably because it's 08.08.18 and the number 8 is a very auspicious number in Chinese numerology! The number 8 sounds like the word for fortune, wealth or the phrase to prosper! How perfect that a movie about Crazy, Rich Asians would have a special early run on a date that's filled with 8's. In Taiwan and maybe other parts of Asia, it's also Father's Day because the word 8 (Bah) said twice in a row, sounds like the word for Father (BaBa).
For those of you who don't know, the movie starring Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny, Star Trek Discovery, Guardians of the Galaxy vol.2) Ken Jeong (Hangover, Community, Dr. Ken), Awkwafina (Oceans 8, Neighbors 2, Dude) and introducing the handsome, charming Henry Golding is based off of the HUGE international best-selling novel of the same name. I am super, duper, crazy excited that this movie is coming out! I love the book, and I had recommended it to everyone, including my Book Club (who all liked it). I also saw a test screening earlier this year, and all I will say is, I'm gathering groups of crazy Asians and non-Asians to go and and actually pay money to see this in the theater! Like Wonder Woman, when women were crying in theaters because they finally saw a strong, female superhero, Author, Kevin Kwan, and Director, Jon Chu, in a story for The Hollywood Reporter, talks about turning down a huge offer from Netflix, in order to give the world a Hollywood movie starring an all Asian cast:
"I could sense every lawyer on the call shaking their heads: 'Ugh, these stupid idealists.' Here, we have a chance for this gigantic payday instantaneously," (Kwan) says. "But Jon and I both felt this sense of purpose. We needed this to be an old-fashioned cinematic experience, not for fans to sit in front of a TV and just press a button." Adds Chu: "We were gifted this position to make a decision no one else can make, which is turning down the big payday for rolling the dice [on the box office] — but being invited to the big party, which is people paying money to go see us." - THR, August 1, 2018
Kwan also accepted just $1 when the book was optioned, so he would be able to stay involved and see his book more faithfully represented in the creative process. Some people would call him and Chu crazy for "turning down the big payday" and giving up millions, but for both of them, it came down to values. They wanted to see Asians represented on a big screen in a way that they haven't yet been portrayed.
I had a job one time where I felt like I had to check my values at the door. Everyday I'd come home and say to my husband that if I disagreed with the company's fundamental values, then my bosses thought I wasn't doing a good job, but every time I shut up and just followed along with their mandate, I felt like little pins pricking holes into my soul.
It's easy to say you would choose your values over money, but when it comes down to making big decisions that can affect your family, getting food on the table and paying for rent, how many of us would choose to walk away from a job that doesn't align with our values, and how many of us would just look the other way?
In a previous post, I called bull$h!& on Hollywood's old rules, and I think the changes should start with each of us. Opportunities like the one Kwan and Chu received are a win-win, any way you slice it. Netflix would've been an equally amazing home, with a deal that already green-lit the entire trilogy (Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend & Rich People Problems). However, the chance to change history, to bet on themselves in a theatrical release, and to showcase an all Asian cast with an Asian American Director in a modern story with non-stereotypical depictions is to give younger generations a gift...the gift of seeing themselves on a big screen in a theater, which is something that hasn't been done since 1993, with The Joy Luck Club.
If you have a decision to take one job over another, it's important to not just take the job that's offering the most money. Instead, take the time to weigh it against your values, and if you don't know what your values are, make sure you take time to get clear about what they are before you make any decisions in the future. If your values are honesty, compassion, and truth, are your bosses and co-workers aligned, or do they believe in cutting corners to save money, have a culture where they like to "yell" at their employees, and where the only transparency is the glass walls of your bosses' office?
Or let's say the company culture mostly does align. However, the commute takes 4 hours out of your day, and so you end up never seeing your children on the weekdays because you have to leave before they get up and you come home when it's their bedtime. Now, if your value isn't to see your children ever, and you like sitting in traffic 4 hours a day, then by all means stay at your job, but I just can't see many of you parents out there commenting below that you value your alone time, sitting in traffic, over spending more time with your family.
Now, in honor of Crazy Rich Asians and because this is a blog mostly about money, below is The Hollywood Reporter video asking the director and three of the cast members what they bought with their first paycheck and then, what would they buy if they had all of the money in the world...
Have you ever or would you ever turn down a lot of money or a job because it went against your values? What would you buy if you were Crazy Rich?! Subscribe and comment below, and I'll tell you in the comments what I would buy. If you would like to get clear on your values and make better financial decisions to get you crazy rich someday, or would like to join my tribe to go and watch Crazy Rich Asians on Wednesday, 8/8 or when it officially comes out on 8/15, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on my signature below and sign up on the main site.
With so much Gratitude and Love (my top value),