Study Guide

Crazy Rich Asians Love

By Kevin Kwan

Love

Eleanor had a long-held theory about men. She truly believed that for most men, all that talk of "being in love" or "finding the right one" was absolute nonsense. Marriage was purely a matter of timing, and whenever a man was finally done sowing his wild oats and ready to settle down, whichever girl happened to be there at the time would be the right one. (1.7.5)

Eleanor's views on love are a bit…pessimistic. Based on this theory, she was just at the right place at the right time for marrying her husband. You think that was in their wedding vows?

[…] Astrid rushed to the door, greeting him with a long embrace. They had been married for more than four years now, but the sight of him still sent an electric spark through her, especially after they had been apart for awhile. He was just so startlingly attractive, especially today with his stubble and the rumpled shirt that she wanted to bury her face in—secretly, she loved the way he smelled after a long day. (1.9.13)

This interaction is bittersweet, as we soon find out that Michael doesn't reciprocate these feelings of love and excitement. Sigh, heartbreak is hard to watch.

[…] this guy who she'd just spent six straight hours engrossed in conversation with, who knew all the lyrics to one of her favorite songs, this guy standing here beside her was the first man she could truly imagine as her husband. (1.1.68)

Not all of us get a fairy tale first day, but it seems Rachel knew after just six hours that Nick was going to be her husband.

"You know this merger has been choreographed down to the most minute detail, and this is how it's going to be. It's good for business, and anything that's good for business is good for the family," Colin said bitterly. (1.17.19)

Colin Khoo is no fool. He knows that despite his love for his bride-to-be, the only reason the marriage is happening is because it's "good for business." Ouch.

"You can't afford to fall in love with Simon." (2.11.6)

This nugget, pulled from a longer monologue of Francesca's, details all the reasons why Isabel needs to move on from the man she's in love with. Not because he's a bad person, but, you know, because he won't make enough money.

"Do you think I'm that simple-minded, that I think I'm the first woman whose husband ever had an affair? I'm not going anywhere, Michael. I'm standing right here, trying to work through this with you, for the sake of our marriage. For the sake of our son." (2.14.47)

We beginning to understand the depth of Astrid's love for Michael. She is willing to work through the pain of being cheated on to save her marriage and preserve a home for her son. That's commitment, honey.

Standing by the altar, Colin gazed at the ravishing bride coming toward him, realizing that all the pain and fuss over the past few months had been worth it. "I can hardly believe it, but I don't think I've ever been happier," he whispered to his best man. […]

As Araminta reached the altar where her future husband awaited, with the Bishop of Singapore in front of her and the most important people in Asia behind her, one thought alone crossed her mind: Astrid Leong […]couldn't even be bothered to wear a new dress to her wedding. (3.4.71-3.4.76)

We've juxtaposed these two to illustrate a sad reality: Colin is over the moon at his wedding; his bride, on the other hand, has one thought when she reaches the altar, and it's about Astrid's dress.

"If you love Rachel as much as you say you do, then you need to be that blue jay for her […] He would never give up trying. He would take an impossible situation and make everything possible." (3.16.54)

Colin strikes again as a stellar best friend. Out of his own love for Nick, he pushes him to pull himself together and make everything possible to get Rachel back.

Charlie let out a deep sigh. If he didn't have a chance of getting Astrid back, he at least wanted to try to help her. He wanted her to find love again with her husband. He wanted to see the joy return to Astrid's face, that glow he had witnessed all those years ago at the bonfire on the beach. He wanted to pass it on. (3.17.66)

While Charlie isn't much of an ancillary character, he is an example of selfless love that contrasts starkly against the numbers of people marrying for status.

"Let them be, Mom. Let them be. This is just how they all are." (3.20.117)

Rachel's final words are also an indication of conditional love for Nick. He'll continue to be a standup guy…and he'll continue to bicker about food.