TL;DR – Charming, awkward, delightful, weird, and a hell of a good time.
Score – 4 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – Stay for the mid-credit song
Well, Netflix is currently creating a niche for itself with the romantic comedy genre and today we get to look at another entry into this lineup. However, while some might feel that this is the service limiting itself, I don’t, especially when we get gems like this. Today we look at a film that completely knows what it wants to be, and how best to use their main leads to achieve that as we dive into the world of garage bands and upmarket transcendent Asian restaurants.
So to set the scene, we open in on Sasha (Miya Cech) who lives with her parents in San Francisco but often spends time alone because her parents work for long hours at their shop. However, Sasha is not really alone because her best friend Marcus (Emerson Min) lives next door and his parents Harry (James Saito) and Judy (Susan Park) teach Sasha about cooking and the joy of using scissors for everything (seriously scissors are an amazing tool in the kitchen). For years they were best friends until one fateful day when Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) became a bit more than friends and then it all fell apart. Fifteen years later, they are both in completely different places in their lives and in different relationships when their old friend and Sasha’s business partner, Veronica (Michelle Buteau) puts them on a collision course with each other.
One of the best things about this film is that it knows completely how to use its leading cast for their best potential, and that is not surprising given that Ali Wong and Randall Park also wrote the film with Michael Golamco. They both have completely different energies, but they immediately click because there is that intimacy of knowledge in the screenplay. Both Ali and Randall nail their parts and their back and forth is some of the funniest dialogue I have seen in a while. This helps the film immensely because without it you could almost get whiplash from the tonal shifts. It is a film that can jump from joy to deep sadness, to joy again, and then just sheer awkwardness and it all works.
Another reason why it works is that every member of the supporting cast is here for this film. You have the parents that could have easily fallen into being caricatures, but here there is a real sense of depth to each of them. Karan Soni is here with another performance that elevates his dry sarcastic delivery to the next level. Michelle Buteau possibly steals nearly every scene she is in with her amazing comedic timing. I mean, hell this film has Keanu Reeves clearly having a ball playing Keanu Reeves.
far as the story goes, I think the general arc of how the characters progress
is not going to be that much of a surprise for you. However, where this film
shines is not in the overarching narrative, through its overarching narrative
is still really solid. It is in the characters themselves and in the scenarios
they find them in where Always Be My
Maybe really shines. There is a scene where they go to a very fancy restaurant
and it is one of the most amusing things I have seen in a long while. However,
even here where the film could have just stuck to the comedy, it is using it to
show important character growth, because it raises the question for Sasha as to
what type of Asian food she wants to cook.
The strong cast and writing mean that the film can really get away with being as awkward as it is at times and still having it work. A lot of comedic films that tend to fall on the more awkward side of the comedic spectrum do that just so they can make their audience feel that awkwardness as an involuntary cringe. However, while there is an emotional reaction, it is a shallow one because you can feel you are being manipulated like jump scares in horror films. However, here there is that awkwardness, oh boy is there a lot of awkwardness, but it never feels cheap because you feel that connection there at all times.
In the end, do we recommend Always Be My Maybe? Yes, yes we do. It was charming, awkward, delightful, weird, and funny as all heck. The two leads were amazing together, the supporting cast is here for it, and the story is there to get as many laughs as possible. It is also a film with a lot of heart as it looks at what our parents do for us even when we might not realise it. Check it out of Netflix if you have a chance and you’ll have a lot of fun.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
Have you watched Always Be My Maybe?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Always Be My Maybe
Directed by – Nahnatchka Khan
Written by – Ali Wong, Randall Park & Michael Golamco
Music by – Michael Andrews
Cinematography by – Tim Suhrstedt
Edited by – Lee Haxall
Production/Distribution Companies – Good Universe & Netflix.
Starring – Ali Wong, Randall Park, Miya Cech, Ashley Liao, Emerson Min, Jackson Geach, James Saito, Susan Park, Michelle Buteau, Anaiyah Bernier, Vivian Bang, Keanu Reeves, Daniel Dae Kim, Karan Soni, Charlyne Yi, Lyrics Born, Peggy Lu, Raymond Ma & Casey Wilson
Rating – Australia: M; United States: PG-13