A film about childhood sweethearts might sound extremely predictable, but thanks to naturally funny performances by two of Hollywood’s best comedians and an infamous scene starring Keanu Reeves, it’s a romantic comedy you can’t pass up.
Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe follows childhood sweethearts Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) as they navigate through their awkward teenage years, to full-fledged adulthood. As children, Sasha and Marcus formed a bond roaming the streets of San Francisco together and cooking family recipes with Marcus’ mother. After losing their virginity to one another, their friendship went south and they don’t speak to each other until 15 years later when Sasha is a famous chef opening a new restaurant where they both grew up.
Most famous for her stand-up comedy, Wong brings her raunchy and witty humor to the big screen. As a child, Sasha’s parents weren’t around to care for her as much as they should’ve been, which ultimately shaped Sasha into the independent woman she became. She pokes fun at her restaurant menu being printed on rice paper because white people love that stuff, and talks about all the freaky sex she has in detail.
As confident as Sasha seems in public, it’s no surprise that she’s cooking for one a lot of the time behind the scenes. Aside from her good friend Veronica (Michelle Buteau) from high school and her unavailable boyfriend Brandon (Daniel Dae Kim)—who she ends up breaking up with over a very loud and vulgar phone call at Veronica’s baby shower—Sasha is all by herself until she reunites with Marcus when he and his dad install an A/C system in her home.
The Fresh Off the Boat star brings his quirkiness out through Marcus, a small town musician who still lives at home and has never stepped foot outside of San Francisco. Aside from being part of a father and son business, Marcus is in a band called Hello Pearl. The actor’s surprising rap skills show a funky side of the character that Sasha clearly still has feelings for.
As the two start to rekindle a friendship long overdue, Marcus begins to face his feelings for Sasha over a meal at one of their old favorites, and a ride down memory lane in the same car they lost their virginity in. But Sasha sees their friendship as a chance to tell Marcus about her new and wild love interest: Keanu Reeves.
Keanu Reeves playing himself is one of the best and most hilarious parts of the film. He plays a heightened version of himself and Marcus continuously compares himself to Reeves, but finds himself coming short of Reeves’ greatness. His entire presence makes for a quality scene sequence all viewers can appreciate.
While the love story between Sasha and Marcus seems a bit rushed, it makes sense to speed it up given the fact they had 18 years of history to back it up. Although the movie portrays a classic boy re-meets girl, Wong and Park tell a distinct Asian-American love story. They draw from their own upbringings and from their real-life friendship, which makes for such an authentic on-screen performance from both of them.
Always Be My Maybe challenges rom-com norms and gives people a movie that focuses on cultural observations and faces not usually seen on screen. It’s a sweet and touching summer film with a cast that will hopefully work together on another project soon.