‘Always Be My Maybe'(2019) is a romantic comedy starring Ali Wong and Randall Park. I know Ali Wong from her very successful Netflix specials, ‘Baby Cobra’ and ‘Hard Knock Wife’. Her comedy style might not be suitable for watching at family dinner but she’s incredibly talented and funny. I was curious to see if she’s capable of bringing the same energy to acting as her stand-up comedy.
I haven’t seen any work of Randall Park before, except when he made a guest appearance as ‘Asian Jim’ in The Office.
So all in all, this seemed to be worth giving a shot!
Sasha (played by Ali Wong) and Marcus (played by Randall Park) grew up as neighbors-cum-childhood friends. Sasha was often left alone in the house by her parents. So Marcus’s mom, Judy used to invite her over evening snacks and dinner. Sasha became an extension to Marcus’s family almost effortlessly. Marcus’s mom used to teach her how to cook Korean dishes, his father used to adore her and for Marcus, Sasha was no less than a best friend.
When both of them were teenagers, Marcus lost his mother in an accident. In a grieving moment, Marcus and Sasha hooked up with each other, however the encounter ended with an argument and they both parted their ways.
Many years passed, Sasha became a celebrity chef and was engaged with Brandon Choi, an ambitious restauranteur. Marcus on the hand, still lived with his father in their old house in San Francisco. He used to perform in a small band that played only in the neighborhood. Marcus was talented for sure, but he wasn’t himself any further to get the recognition that he deserved. He was dating a girl named Jenny.
Sasha broke up with Brandon after realizing that the relationship was merely an economic proposition for him. Brandon had been delaying their wedding for countless times giving excuse of work. Sasha came to San Francisco for a brief stay to look over her new restaurant. She unknowingly hired Marcus’s father to install AC in her house and met Marcus and his father after many years.
After some arguments, Sasha and Marcus became friends again. Marcus confessed to his father about his feelings for Sasha. Before he could make a move, Sasha got into a relationship with another celebrity, played by Keanu Reeves. Sasha and Marcus brought their partners on a double date on a high end restaurant. After getting drunk, Sasha spills her true feelings, Marcus got into a physical fight with her boyfriend. The night ended with Jenny staying over with Sasha’s celebrity boyfriends and Sasha and Marcus sleeping together.
The two rekindled the old love, reminiscing their childhood memories. Sasha was still missing her parents majorly. Sasha was supposed to move to New York after her work in San Francisco was over, she offered Marcus to join her. Marcus denied, so she left on her own.
After Marcus’s father and bandmates pointed out, he realized that he had been sabotaging his life ever since his mother’s death. He kept on telling himself, “it’s for my dad, I have to take care of him”, whereas in reality it was just his self limiting thoughts. Marcus finally moved out of his old house and started making efforts to get his band more success and popularity.
Marcus tried to contact Sasha multiple times, not got no response from her. He then discovered Sasha secretly buying all his merchandise to support his dream… Marcus surprised Sasha in an award show event and confesses his love once more, agreeing to support her and moving anywhere with her without questioning.
Sasha took Marcus to her new restaurant in New York that served authentic Korean food. She named it after Marcus’s mother Judy who taught her how to cook and the menu was actually all her recipes…
My Thoughts on the movie
Ali Wong’s acting seemed very natural and effortless. Randal has done justice to his role, and Keanu being Keanu is everything I could’ve asked for.
The movie depicts Asian-American community, their ways to be frugal, humble beginnings and yet achieving luxurious lifestyle through hard work and perseverance. This is not the main theme/message of the movie, however I’d like to appreciate this.
Sasha – a strong female character. She has ambitions and visions, not just for her own life but for her partner as well.
Sasha and Marcus being real with each other- Marcus bringing Sasha close to her roots inspiring her to represent authentic Asian cuisines… And Sasha calling him out for being too afraid to dream big or step out of his comfort zone.
Sasha helping Marcus secretly reminds us all that we can support our loved ones without rubbing our success and fame on their faces… And Marcus finally agreeing to travel along with her is another example of a great relationship – to leave our 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