‘Always Be My Maybe’ (2019) is a romantic comedy starring Ali Wong and Randall Park. I know Ali Wong from her successful Netflix specials, ‘Baby Cobra’ and ‘Hard Knock Wife’. Her comedy style may not be suitable for family dinner, but she’s incredibly talented and funny. I was curious to see if she could bring the same energy to acting as she does in stand-up. I haven’t seen any of Randall Park’s work before, except for his guest appearance as ‘Asian Jim’ on The Office. Overall, it seemed worth giving this movie a shot!
The Story of ‘Always Be My Maybe’
Sasha (played by Ali Wong) and Marcus (played by Randall Park) were childhood friends and neighbors. Sasha’s parents often left her alone, so Marcus’s mom Judy invited her over for snacks and dinner. Sasha became like family to them. Judy taught Sasha how to cook Korean dishes, Marcus’s father adored her, and she was a best friend to Marcus.
As teenager, Marcus lost his mother in an accident. In a moment of grief, he and Sasha hooked up but ended up arguing before parting ways.
Many years passed, and Sasha became a celebrity chef. She was engaged to Brandon Choi, an ambitious restaurateur. Meanwhile, Marcus still lived in his old house in San Francisco with his father. He used to perform in a small neighborhood band and had talent but didn’t pursue recognition for it. Currently, he was dating Jenny.
Sasha broke up with Brandon after realizing that their relationship was only based on economics. Brandon repeatedly delayed their wedding due to work excuses. Sasha came to San Francisco briefly to oversee her new restaurant without knowing that Marcus’s father would be installing AC at her house.
After many years, she met Marcus and his father again during this visit.
After arguing, Sasha and Marcus reconciled. Marcus told his father he liked Sasha. However, before he could act on it, Sasha started dating Keanu Reeves’ character. The four of them went on a double date to a fancy restaurant where they got drunk. During the night, Sasha revealed her true feelings and Marcus fought with her boyfriend. Eventually, Jenny stayed with Keanu Reeves while Sasha and Marcus slept together and rekindled their love by reminiscing about their childhood memories. Although she missed her parents greatly, Sasha had to move to New York after finishing work in San Francisco; she invited Marcus but he declined so she left alone.
After Marcus’s father and bandmates pointed it out, he realized he had been sabotaging his life since his mother’s death. He kept telling himself, “it’s for my dad, I have to take care of him,” but in reality, it was just self-limiting thoughts. Marcus moved out of his old house and started making efforts to get more success with his band. He tried contacting Sasha multiple times but received no response until he discovered that she had secretly bought all of his merchandise to support his dream. At an award show event, Marcus surprised Sasha and confessed his love once again, agreeing to support her and move anywhere with her without questioning.
Sasha took Marcus to her new restaurant in New York, which served authentic Korean food. She named it after Marcus’s mother, Judy, who taught her how to cook. The menu consisted solely of Judy’s recipes.
My Thoughts on the movie
Ali Wong’s acting was natural and effortless. Randal did justice to his role, and Keanu Reeves being himself is everything I could have asked for. The movie depicts the Asian-American community, their frugal ways, humble beginnings, hard work, and perseverance leading to a luxurious lifestyle. Although this isn’t the main theme of the movie, it deserves appreciation. Sasha is a strong female character with ambitions not only for herself but also for her partner. Sasha and Marcus are honest with each other – Marcus inspires Sasha to represent authentic Asian cuisines by bringing her close to her roots while Sasha encourages him to dream big and step out of his comfort zone.
Sasha helping Marcus in secret reminds us that we can support loved ones without boasting about our success and fame. Marcus agreeing to travel with her is a great example of leaving ego and limiting thoughts behind to accompany our partners.
Last but not the least, Sasha’s tribute to Judy was definitely the grand romantic gesture.
Overall, I’d rate this movie 3.5/5. Can’t wait to watch Ali Wong again in another movie!
Thanks for reading! XOXO
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