Monday, June 10, 2019

Movie Review: "Always Be My Maybe" (2019)

Director: Nahnatchka Khan
Year: 2019
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes

Two childhood best friends who ended their relationship on a sour note are reunited after 15 years, which may lead to a rekindling of old feelings.

Always Be My Maybe 2019 movie still Ali Wong Randall Park James Saito
"I always thought that maybe you two would end up together." (Image Source)
In more recent years, rom-coms have either been excruciatingly boring, wholly unbelievable, or entirely devoid of chemistry between leads. Netflix's "Always Be My Maybe" is the exact opposite. This is the first feature film directed by Nahnatchka Khan. The screenplay is written by Michael Golamco, as well as the film's two leading actors Ali Wong and Randall Park. The story revolves around two childhood best friends named Sasha Tran (Ali Wong) and Marcus Kim (Randall Park), who had a falling out right at the end of high school following a personal tragedy that impacted both of them. 15 years have passed, and Sasha is now a celebrity chef who is returning to her hometown of San Francisco to open another new restaurant. Marcus, on the other hand, is still living at home working for his family's heating and air company. When Marcus and his father Harry (James Saito) are called out to install an HVAC system in Sasha's rental property, these two long lost pals are reunited. Though things are awkward at first, they start to rekindle their old friendship, which could potentially lead to more so long as they don't screw it up.
Randall Park escorts Ali Wong to a private event in San Francisco, CA in Netflix's original comedy movie Always Be My Maybe
"At some point, you're going to have to take a chance on something." (Image Source)
We totally dug Netflix's newest film "Always Be My Maybe." In some ways, it follows the tried-and-true romantic comedy formula, but it also does things differently, too, mainly in dealing with the social status of the two lead characters. Similar to the what happens in 2019's film "Long Shot," director Nahnatchka Khan successfully explore the power dynamics between Sasha and Marcus since she has had a much more flourishing, storied life and career than he has. Because of the paths they have chosen in life, Sasha and Marcus reconnect at an inopportune time when she will only be in town for a few months. The question is, will they be able to overcome the odds and come together to make it work despite their vastly different lifestyles?

As we mentioned, with any halfway decent rom-com, the most important thing isn't social commentary, but whether or not it can make the audience laugh, and whether or not the relationship that is portrayed on screen is convincing enough. Whether or not a film is successful in that area depends on the charm, chemistry, and spirited performances of the two lead actors. Ali Wong and Randall Park have all of those elements tenfold. They deliver terrific, funny, heartfelt performances that can make you laugh and cry. We also totally buy into their friendship as well as their romantic relationship. To be honest, not every joke works, but more often than not, we found ourselves having an unexpectedly delightful time watching this adorable film. Not all the laughs come from these two as there is a solid supporting cast as well, including a roll-on-the-floor laugh-out-loud cameo from none other than the fabulous Keanu Reeves. We were howling with laughter the entire time he was on screen, and he gets a lot of the movie's funnier one-liners, especially during the fancy dinner he eats with Marcus, his girlfriend Jenny (Vivian Bang), and Sasha. It was such a welcomed surprise and such a treat to see.
Ali Wong and Keanu Reeves go on a date in Netflix's film Always Be My Maybe
"The only stars that matter are the ones you look at when you dream." (Image Source)
Netflix's "Always Be My Maybe" might not reinvent the romantic comedy wheel, but it certainly kept us emotionally invested in and entertained by the story of Sasha and Marcus. Throw in some hilarious cameos and a fantastic ending, and you're guaranteed to have a good time! Ali Wong and Randall Park, please, please, please write and star in another movie together!

My Rating: 8/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.0/10
RT Rating: 91%
Do we recommend this movie: Yes!

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