Song of the Day #3,861: ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ – Cheryl K

This week I’m counting down my top ten movies of 2018, two at a time. I started yesterday with these two titles:

10. First Reformed
9. Black Panther

Picking things up at #8…

#8 – Support the Girls

Over the years I’ve developed a real taste for on-the-ground, slice-of-life filmmaking that immerses me in a community totally alien to my own. Sean Baker’s 2017 The Florida Project is the ultimate example — that movie floored me with its ability to find majesty in the humblest environment. Writer-director Andrew Bujalski brings the same kind of authenticity and empathy to Support the Girls, a dramedy about a tumultuous day for the manager of a Hooters-like restaurant in a small Texas town. Regina Hall leads an ensemble of fine actresses who inhabit their characters so fully the film feels less like fiction and more like a well-shot documentary.

After weaving its three main protagonists through crises big and small, Support the Girls has them escape to a rooftop and join in a cathartic primal scream. It’s one of my favorite movie moments of last year, a liberating howl into the abyss of toxic masculinity, Trumpism, corporatization and the general malaise of everyday life. I can’t think of a better reaction to the America of 2018.

#7 – Crazy Rich Asians

I’ve gone back through two decades worth of my top ten lists and have been unable to find a straight-up romantic comedy I loved as much as Crazy Rich Asians. Set aside for a moment the groundbreaking nature of its all-Asian cast (the first in a Hollywood movie in 25 years). The movie just flat-out works — as comedy, as romance, as food and wedding porn. Watching beautiful people in beautiful places never gets old. Neither do big sidekick laughs like those provided by Awkwafina in her scene-stealing turn as Peik Lin.

Now let’s get back to the representation angle. It elevates this movie not (just) because it is wonderful to see an underrepresented demographic finally get to see themselves on the big screen. The conflict between a traditional Chinese family and an Asian-American woman is nuanced and new. It makes for complicated, emotional drama in exactly the way Black Panther‘s central conflict does. How illuminating that when Asian-American and African-American filmmakers got to tell these stories, they didn’t explore culture clashes with white people. White people are gloriously superfluous in these movies. They explored what it means to be American but also Chinese or Black.

In Crazy Rich Asians, the conflict is dramatized beautifully between Constance Wu, Michelle Yeoh and Tan Kheng Hua, who is devastating in just a few scenes. The interplay between these three women in the Mahjong sequence alone would make my list of the top ten movies of 2018.

[Verse 1]
美好的事情都不挑
请你帮我把这些都甩掉
我需要钱
就是我想要
就是我想要
就是我想要的你的爱让我怕人嫌多
你的爱无法为我满足
我需要钱
就是我想要
就是我想要
就是我想要的[Chorus]
Oh, Money
(That’s what I want)
A lot of money
(That’s what I want)
Oh, a lot of money
(That’s what I want)

A lot of money
(That’s what I want)
That’s what I want
(That’s what I want)
That’s what I want
(That’s what I want)

[Verse 2]
The best things in life are free
But you can give them to the birds and bees
I need money
That’s what I want
That’s what I want
That’s what I want

Your love gives me such a thrill
But your lovin’ don’t pay the bills
I give me money
I need money
That’s what I want
That’s what I want
That’s what I want
That’s what I want

[Chorus]
And I want money, money, money, money, oh
(That’s what I want)
Money, money, money, money
(That’s what I want)
I want some money, money, oh, money
(That’s what I want)
I want some money, m-money, money, money
Ohhh
(That’s what I want)

[Guitar Solo]

[Outro]
That’s what I want
That’s what I want
That’s what I want
That’s what I want
That’s what I want
That’s what I want

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,861: ‘Money (That’s What I Want)’ – Cheryl K

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I confess I’ve had trouble getting beyond the didactic title of Support the Gilrs (having a similar problem with The Hate U Give), but I may get around to seeing this at some point.

    Though Crazy Rich Asians would not be quite as high on my list (were I to make one), I did enjoy and appreciate it for all the reasons you’ve said. I also got a kick out of the Chinese covers of English pop songs.

  2. Peg says:

    I’m not a fan of either of these movies but I appreciate your comments 😊

  3. Maddie says:

    I wanted to like Support the Girls more than I did, but it just felt like a less compelling, slower paced Florida Project (I really don’t think my dad would be a fan). I did love that final moment on the roof and the performances were all very good. Also would have enjoyed more Regina/Pigeon conversations.

    Crazy Rich Asians, on the other hand, is absolutely wonderful and I’m happy to see it so high on your list. 🙂

  4. Amy says:

    I’m not sure if you’re hailing “slice of life” films as such because of their subject matter or their budget, but if it’s the former I’ve long been a fan of this type of film, which tend to stay with me in deeper ways than other films. Among my list of such films would be Rachel Getting Married, An Education, Igby Goes Down, A Serious Man, and my absolute favorite… Once. The trailer for Support the Girls didn’t strike me as being this, but I’ll definitely give it a look for that primal scream alone.

    As for Crazy Rich Asians, I loved it for the reasons you indicate above, and it had one of my favorite scenes of the year with the mahjong showdown, but the central romance didn’t earn it a spot among my favorite romantic comedies of all time, in large part because that central duo wasn’t funny. The comedy came in bits rather than from situations and characters who could be serious or funny, depending on the moment. That’s also likely why the film didn’t land on my top ten list, though I did find myself watching it on that little cruise tv every time it was on. 🙂

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