Netflix: Always Be My Maybe

Hey you guys, what's up?

I finally got around to watching the new Netflix offering, Always be My Maybe, a rom-com.

Always Be My Maybe

Duration: 1h 42 min
What's it about: Marcus and Sasha are childhood best friends. They lose touch and years later, all grown up, they have a reunion. Marcus wonders if he missed the boat.

The movie features Randall Park as Marcus as the leading man. You probably recognise Randall from Fresh Off the Boat. In FOTB, he plays a humorous dad, and sometimes comes across rather stiff, like a bad sketch.

In this movie though, I felt like he finally got to play a character with more depth and emotion, and I'm all for it! He's still endearing but not in an excessive way. Glad to see him going places.

I never knew how strangely comforting it would be to see someone of my colour be in an English film. You know people always talk about representation and all, and maybe it never really struck a chord with me, until this movie.

Crazy Rich Asians was a glitzy parade that screamed 'ASIANS!' , but I never really thought about this topic throughout the movie - it just felt so natural. I love that.

Ali Wong plays Sasha, a spunky celebrity chef who is fearless in chasing her dreams. A pity that Sasha is given a crutch about having a neglected childhood and later has it very quickly and neatly solved at the end of the story. She is way more interesting than Marcus though.

If you had to pick a quote for this onscreen couple, it would probably be "opposite poles attract". The two couldn't be more different. One is always on the go and has a global outlook (Sasha feels like a Sagittarius), while the other is happy in his comfort zone (classic Cancer). Sometimes breakups don't only happen because there isn't enough love , it's also about how unsuited your personalities and ingrained habits are.

Somehow Marcus manages to work things out (a very small coming-of-age, moving on arc) and get the girl, who is just so ready to settle even though he did close to nothing. I also wish that there were more scenes of them missing each other or loving each other even when they were growing up, or just tackling the 'maybe' part of the title. They just seemed rather certain of themselves and each other, rather than just 'maybe'.

A highlight in the movie would definitely be the cameo of Keanu Reeves. There has been much buzz about Keanu lately because of his role in John Wick 3. It was pretty amusing because he's so very stylish too. He plays Sasha's date.

Hilarious entrance.

Humour wise, I thought the film fared only ok. I guess when I saw Randall Park I thought of FOTB and unknowingly set higher expectations.

Come to think of it, as a rom-com, I neither felt that it was very funny nor very romantic at all.

Awkward hug

However, the soundtrack was great! Enjoyed the songs and seamless transitions for the different scenes (growing up timeline, traipsing over to another character's story).

The movie pokes fun at expensive, tiny food in upscale restaurants. Most of us common people can probably relate to this, because we just want huge pizzas and burgers kthxbye.

It also features some LGBTQ characters that would never have made it on screen maybe some decades ago. Progress!

Finally, old Asian people who are portrayed with dignity and not with some strange accents or as a comedic device.

There's also the mention of slut shaming. Overall the film wants to tackle a lot of things and themes but unfortunately does not have the time and space to do so. It therefore bravely tries to encompass all these things.

What I didn't like about the show
Despite being almost 2h long, the story seems...convenient and predictable at times. I believe they simplified the plot but I just feel that there was so much more potential in this film. It kinda felt like a pilot episode of a show, where you get just a tiny, hesitant dip in the pool to test the waters. Character development is not complete nor satisfying, and maybe this would have been better off as a TV series where they can flesh out more of the characters.

Nevertheless I think we just got a small nibble of better things yet to come. Netflix, please continue all these projects!

Verdict: A good 6.5/10. Great effort, but lots to improve on. The movie is kind of like a hyped up snack, or maybe fancy tiny food in this instance. You feel excited to watch it, but after that you're still feeling hungry for more.

Till next time,