The most undercasted demographic will hit Hollywood next week.
Despite being a hardworking and attractive group, college students routinely fail to get roles in major movies. The sequel to recent blockbuster “Crazy Rich Asians” will change that.
“Crazy Poor College Students” focuses on the glamour of living penniless in dorm rooms. The budget for this film was so low that it looks suspiciously like it was made as a local college sophomore’s midterm for a film class.
The drama unfolds as the main character Ashley is invited by her boyfriend Spike for a game night with as many playing cards they could scrounge up. An engineering student uses a paperclip, some D batteries and a squeeze of lemon to power a microwave long enough to make Fotinos, an off brand of pizza rolls.
Spike’s friends act distant with Ashley because of her excessive wealth. Rumor has it she once had enough money to afford one of her textbooks without selling her hair or plasma.
Spike, at odds with his friends for their disapproval of Ashley, defends her in spite of her socio-economic background. Ashley stubbornly pursues Spike in the name of love, betraying her own background as a sorority sister of Kappa Alpha Sigma Heta, or KA$H.
The side characters are full of enough life to keep the film going in the slow parts. Spike’s best friend Jeb spends the film pursuing fire-starting materials to heat his dorm, which sheds light on the triumph of the human spirit.
The sets push the boundaries of cinema. “Crazy Rich Asians” showers its audiences in rare flowers, jewels and expensive real estate. The sequel goes one step further; the crew sold all of their own equipment to pay their actors a legal minimum wage.
The cockroach-infested dorm rooms and peanut butter sandwiches were all completely real. The bachelor party scene used actual Natural Lite for the beer. The bachelorette party was filmed in a real basement.
I was most touched by the scene where Spike chases after Ashley saying he would renounce his family to be with her. As the two hug in the library surrounded by students studying, crying and conjugating, the smartphone camera gets a panoramic view of the romance. Spike then pulled out a product-placed box of Kleenex to wipe her snot amidst the tears.
I will not spoil the ending, but rest assured, it satisfies. The wedding scene is sure to make people talk. Spike takes a test online to become a minister, and the gang uses a study room for the ceremony. At the reception, the Mio-enhanced water flows and the ramen lasts almost an hour before running out.
The production, acting and execution of “Crazy Poor College Students” makes Wiseau’s “The Room” look Oscar-worthy, but the important thing is that college students finally get their roles. All in all, the movie celebrates true love despite culture and monetary barriers. The film does not measure up to the beauty and quality of “Crazy Rich Asians,” but its director received a C- for his efforts.