Always Be My Maybe is a romantic comedy film. The plot follows two people Sasha Tran, (Ali Wong), and Marcus Kim, (Randall Park), who were best friends when they were kids, but after a romantic mishap haven’t spoken in years; fate brings them into each other’s lives again but, will the romance return?
The romance the film portrays is very realistic, there is nothing fanciful about it; both the leads act very much like how normal people would in that situation, adding a nice sense of realism.
Both leads are likeable, Randall Park especially, who is basically just playing a younger version of his character from Fresh Off The Boat. Wong has a few good lines but, is often upstaged by Park’s charisma and charm. In terms of comedy, the film isn’t very strong, there were a few lines that made me smile, but nothing that made me laugh out loud.
The realistic drama of the film works far better than it’s comedy, with the reason that Marcus finds it hard to commit being masterfully done; you don’t see it coming, but when it is revealed it makes complete sense.
The plot is nothing new or, novel, it follows a standard will they won’t they rom-com plotline, the twists and turns are mostly standard and completely what you would expect, so it is very average in that respect. However, the charm of the leads makes up for the complete predictability.
There is one great surprise/reveal, which I wasn’t aware of as I hadn’t seen any of the trailers or, promotional materials. This surprise genuinely shocked me and instantly became my favourite moment of the film, this is, of course, the Keanu Reeves reveal. For those of you, that like me didn’t know, Reeves plays a fictionalised version of himself, the love rival of Marcus. Ali and all the other characters, except for Marcus, are completely smitten with him; which only serves to aggravate Marcus further.
Reeves is the highlight of the film, his presence makes the film, but also it takes overpowers everything else so in many ways it is a double-edged sword.
Overall Always Be My Maybe is a sweet if incredibly by the numbers affair. The leads have just enough charm and charisma to keep you watching, but only just. Reeves is spectacular as always but is barely used. The thing that hamstrings this film is its predictability, outside of Reeves’s cameo and Marcus’s later character development, everything else is easily guessable. In a sentence, the thing that stops this film from rising above mediocrity is that it’s scared to take chances.
Reviewed by Luke