Hey, Plotaholics. Bryan here. So I was going to write this review about McG’s Rim of the World that premiered on Netflix May 24, 2019. While I enjoyed that movie, I have decided that I’m inspired to write a review about a different Netflix-exclusive film.
This review is about the romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe, which was released May 29, 2019.
Always Be My Maybe stars Randall Park (Fresh of the Boat, Ant-Man and the Wasp) as Marcus, a talented musician that fears success, and Ali Wong (Are You There, Chelsea? and Inside Amy Schumer) as Sasha, a celebrity chef and Marcus’s childhood best friend.
If you’re looking for a movie that reinvents the wheel for the romantic comedy genre, this is not it. Always Be My Maybe is about a boy and a girl who grow up together and have feelings for one another. It (comedically) doesn’t work out, and they go their separate ways.
This isn’t about a film that does something different. You’re going to be hard-pressed to find films that do that. Instead, what you should be looking for are films that can take the formula, and make it work in inventive and new ways. That is where Always Be My Maybe thrives.
Randall Park plays the dry-witted, judgmental, but lovable male lead, Marcus Kim. Countless actors before Park have played some version of this character. His charisma, charm, comedic timing, and likable nature is what really makes the Marcus character shine. I was looking for a little bit of Agent Woo (his character in Ant-Man and the Wasp), but, with the exception of a few periods of awkwardness (that made me laugh until I cried), there was none. Even when he’s being a jerk, you have to love him.
His father, played by the legendary James Saito (dude he was the original Shredder in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Need I say more? I do? Fine! He’s also Buckaroo Bonzai’s dad okay!?) is his son’s biggest supporter. I seriously thought he would play the stereotypical ‘Hard-Assed Asian Dad’ character, but he didn’t. He brought a lot of emotion and quick wit, which played especially well in conversations with his movie son.
I would be a major idiot if I did not talk about the absolutely gorgeous, hilarious, and amazing Ali Wong as the female lead, Sasha Tran. You want to talk about someone that is fierce, funny, and has great screen presence? Ali Wong is your lady!
Sasha is successful at everything in her life, except love (more on that later), while also dealing with the difficulty of dealing with career-driven parents whose behavior borders on neglectful. When she laughs, you laugh. When she hurts, you hurt. And when something hurts her, you want to defend her, but she doesn’t need you to. She’s also a very loyal and loving character that will make up excuses for those she loves, but when she’s had enough, look out!
As you can see I am really doing my best to leave spoilers out of this. I want you, the reader, to go into this movie knowing that I love it, and I want you to be able to enjoy the plot blind, as I did. The one plot point I will “spoil” for you, was shown in the trailer and I kind of wish it wasn’t; Keanu Reeves’s cameo is worth watching this for even if you hate romantic comedy.
Yes. Keanu Reeves took four days off from filming John Wick: Chapter 3 to film this movie. His performance here is better than his performance in John Wick 3 and is a great segue into next year’s Bill and Ted: Face the Music. After the last twenty years or so, I needed to remember that Keanu could make me laugh as well as kill people, and here, his laughs are dialed up to infinity and beyond!
Speaking of laughs, Karan Soni (Dopinder from Deadpool 1 and 2) is the quiet comic relief in this film, and its nice to see his comedic talents can be a little bit more subtle than in the ‘Merc with a Mouth’ flicks.
Overall, I am willing to go on record saying that Always Be My Maybe is probably my favorite Netflix original. It had heart, laughs, tears, and culture. It was culturally immersive without being overwhelming. If this is what we have to look forward to as Netflix begins to lose other content due to new competitor streaming services, I think we are in for a real treat. This never felt like a ‘Made For’ type of film. This movie could have easily gone to theaters and taken home a large profit. I’m not talking Avengers-sized numbers, but it would put up numbers that could rival any other top-grossing romantic comedies of all time, including the highest grossing rom-com of all time which was, according to ew.com is My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Yes. It’s that good.
So if you and your significant other are looking for a romantic night of laughs, and heart, I suggest you Netflix and chill (save the chill for after the film) with Always Be My Maybe, and make sure you stick around for the end credits. The song is GOLD. I purchased it on iTunes and listened to it at least five times.
So on the Plotaholics film scale, I give this one a solid 1 shot. It’s not without its own little issues, but I would have the shot just to relax after a long day, and unwind.
And I will do my originally planned review of Rim of the World, I promise.
Always Be My Maybe Shot Rating:
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