Netflix Review: Always Be My Maybe
We have been covering new summer movies to catch on various streaming services this summer, and this week we’re looking at another recent release on Netflix. Always Be My Maybe is Netflix’s newest romantic comedy that follows two childhood friends who reconnect years later after a teenage fling ended badly. It was directed by Nahnatchka Khan and written by Ali Wong, Randall Park, and Michael Golamco. Ali Wong stars as the now famous chef, Sasha Tran, and Randall Park stars as her former best friend, Marcus Kim. The cast also includes James Saito, Michelle Buteau, Vivian Bang, Daniel Dae Kim, Susan Park and Keanu Reeves.
The film begins with a young Sasha at home alone while her parents work. She cooks dinner for herself, but her meal is interrupted when Marcus invites her to eat soup with his parents. She happily goes next door with him, and his mom teaches her about cooking. Sasha and Marcus continue to spend time together growing up and are essentially inseparable. When Marcus unexpectedly loses his mother right around graduation, they both grieve her loss. They end up sleeping together in his car, but a wedge is driven between them when they argue afterward. The two fall out of touch, and while Marcus stays in San Francisco with his Dad, Sasha goes on to become a renowned chef. When Sasha opens up a new restaurant in San Francisco, she and Marcus reconnect for the first time in sixteen years, which complicates both of their lives.
Netflix seems to have found its niche in clever and often refreshing romantic comedies, and Always Be My Maybe follows that trend. The reuniting of old friends is not a new plot for the genre, but this film seems to breathe some new life into it by having Wong and Park involved in writing the script in addition to taking the lead roles. The film moves along at a relaxed pace, and it allows for the actors to have a lot of fun with their roles. The comedy is well-timed, and it has a lot of fun poking at everything from hipsters and fancy food to jokes about the San Francisco area in general. The music is also something to be noted with Randall Park providing a truly memorable song as the credits begin to roll.
The movie lives up to the humor that should accompany this genre of film, but it also contains some excellent performances. Randall Park and Ali Wong are both hilarious with their unique brands of humor, and they pull off seamlessly both the heartwarming and awkward interactions between their two characters. Buteau keeps the character of Veronica entertaining with her collection of one-liners, and the supporting characters are all enjoyable. The real highlight, though, is Keanu Reeves’ role in the film. He technically plays himself in this eccentric, over-the-top role, and I appreciate the funny comments and reminders of his fame that they incorporate at the perfect time.
At the end of the day, Always Be My Maybe is a charming romantic comedy that includes some relevant commentary for today. Park and Wong have said that they wanted the film to be their own version of When Harry Met Sally, and the film definitely has parallels to it. It adds a little more with Park’s musical abilities and the inclusion of characters like Keanu Reeves, and its look at Asian-American culture also makes it stand out. Always Be My Maybe is ridiculous at times but truly a lot of fun and one of the better options currently available on Netflix.
Mollie is a film enthusiast, aspiring writer/screenwriter, and a lover of all things Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. She is the co-founder of The Digital Shore (@thedigitalshore) and Above The Line (@atl_movies). You can follow her many adventures through Twitter and Instagram at @mcbeach.