“Always Be My Maybe is simply enjoyable and engaging throughout.”
Next on the romantic-comedy chopping block comes Always Be My Maybe, which is exclusively on Netflix and has all of the desired genre tropes added in to give you laughs and heartwarming feelings. That being said, you’ve seen this story literally 500 billion times before. There is nothing new or original here in these characters or plot points. It’s romantic-comedy business as usual with Always Be My Maybe, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. While it doesn’t do anything to change the game or provoke thought, it’s simply enjoyable and engaging throughout, and that should be enough for a couple of hours.
Filmmaker Nahnatchka Khan (Fresh Off The Boat, American Dad), gives her first feature film debut a fun cast and a likable story even if it’s a strict paint-by-the-number book. Khan who has worked on Fresh Off The Boat, brought along some friends to this endeavor with Randall Park who plays a guy named Marcus. Growing up, he and his family lived in San Francisco next door to the young Sasha (Ali Wong), where the two were best of friends throughout school. As time went on, Sasha became a super successful world renown chef, where Marcus stayed back at home with his father and still plays in his high school band, which has a small, but fruitful following. Several years later, the two former friends cross paths and we hear the faint awkward sounds of love in the air with a ton of unwieldy dates, nervous conversations, and more tricky situations, where you know in the end these two will ultimately be together.
Again, you’ve seen this film before. With this cast and filmmakers, including Ali and Randall contributing to the script, there is enough ingredients in this story to make you smile and keep invested in this tiresome story. Ali’s quick and volatile wit perfectly mixes with Randall’s dry sense of humor that will spark some small, cute laughs. The rest of the supporting cast, while they might have the usual tropes of older parents and helpful friends, all are serviceable. Perhaps the scene stealing moment of the film is a big badass cameo that is very similar to Neil Patrick Harris in Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. In fact, I’m sure that the filmmakers got the idea from that film and added their own spin on it here. It was a lot of fun to watch.
There is much worse you can do in the romantic-comedy genre. Even though there isn’t a ton of original ideas or something new to see here, Always Be My Maybe is a decidedly fun movie that you can enjoy with your friends or loved ones and feel better for watching it. Even the music is entertaining, including Randall’s original music in character with his band. I hope there is a soundtrack released. Also of note, director Nahnatchka Khan is a pro-wrestling fan. I knew there was a connection on why I liked this movie more than I should have.
Written by: Bryan Kluger