Brain behind Crazy Rich Asians has crazy Houston connection

- The movie "Crazy Rich Asians" debuted nationwide Wednesday. It's based off a best seller book by author Kevin Kwan, who grew up in the Houston area. 

Kwan graduated from Clear Lake High School in 1990 and is a 1994 alumni of the University of Houston-Clear Lake. 

"I have family down there. I gotta get my Papasitos fix. Gotta get my Goode Company BBQ fix," Kwan said in an interview with BackstageOL.com's Dave Morales. 

"I'm a big Mike Jones fan. Who? Mike Jones! Hey, gotta know whats going on," actor Jimmy O. Yang said.

Crazy Rich Asians is the first major studio production to star an all-Asian cast and an Asian lead in 25 years. The last movie with an all-Asian cast was The Joy Luck Club in 1993.  

With its cast and a script that flips back-and-forth between English, Mandarin and Cantonese, some are calling this the movie that will change Hollywood. 

Gregory Gee is the marketing manager at the Chinese Community Center near Bellaire. Gee is glad to see more Asian representation in mainstream movies like "Crazy Rich Asians," especially with characters that sway away from offensive or silly stereotypes.

"Being able to see Asian-Americans who when I see them on screen I can say, 'Oh that person looks like me.' And just being able to identify with the storyline that they're trying to tell," Gee said. 

"And with realistic characters, not just some kung fu movie putting Asian-Americans in a stereotypical type role."

In early screenings across the country, many Asian-American organizations rented out entire theaters for private events to support the movie they're saying "will change Hollywood."

The rom-com plot tackles everything from interesting family dynamics to mothers that guilt-trip their kids. Although it's making huge waves in the Asian-American community, it'a storyline Kwan said everyone can ultimately relate to.

"All over the world wherever I go-- whether it's India or Zurich-- people tell me 'I'm not Asian, we're not even rich. But our family's just crazy too.' It's so universal," Kwan said. 

Kwan's family is organizing a watch party Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Studio Movie Grill in City Centre.

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