- BOTTOM LINE
A Rare Witty And Funny Romantic Tale
|Platform: Netflix||Genre: Comedy|
What Is the Story About?
Marcus (Randall Park) and Sasha Tran (Ali Wong) are childhood friends. They get separated over a simple issue as teenagers and then meet years later. Sasha is a celebrity chef who is about to get married whereas Marcus is still the guy next door who hasn’t grown up. How they meet and rekindle their relationship is what the movie is all about?
Ali Wong is a perfect combination of sweet and sassiness with a lively sense of humour. She lifts the proceedings with her effortless act. It never feels like she is acting; instead, Ali Wong comes across a real person thanks to the way she played the part.
It also means Ali Wong might be just putting across her real-life persona, and there was no acting involved. Even in that case, she is a perfect fit for the world of the movie and helps elevate it to a new high with her presence. For the genre of Always Be My Maybe and the setup, she is natural. It just highlights the importance of casting and how!
Nahnatchka Khan makes a full-fledged directorial debut with Always Be My Maybe. It is a dream debut that she has got with perfect casting and writing in place. It helps elevate a simple beaten to death story to a new level.
Two friends discovering love between them when everyone else around them knows is a theme that as old as the hills. But, what makes Always Be My Maybe work is the brilliant writing and sensational casting of the lead pair. They make one sit through the most routine of times with their chemistry and brilliant timing.
It is not that only the lead actors and writing is good, it is, but the background and supporting parts too are lovely and add to the freshness overall. Always Be My Maybe gets going from the start when the small Sasha opens the door for young Marcus. We can get a sense of the things to come, and we get exactly what we expect and more, all in an entertaining manner.
The writing is witty and sharp and full of smart cultural specific observations. The actors deliver those lines with a rare natural flair making it looks like a real deal. The small pauses and awkwardness etc. are subtly captured and never overstays its welcome. The chemistry feels so organically driven and not mechanical.
Things do looks like a bit rushed towards the end. The realisation part of the hero and some subplots merged into it doesn’t connect like many things preceding those sequences. Also, the big ‘star’ appearance, as fabulous as it is, gets to the point that makes it look like the narrative is up for a pause. The good thing is, it doesn’t last long.
Overall, Always Be My Maybe a typical lightweight, and a frothy romantic entertainer that rises above the clichés due to the perfect casting and excellent writing. It is an instant winner, and of high value, in the genre, it belongs.
Randall Park is the pair to Ali Wong. He creates the necessary empathy the character and narrative needs, which is running on the high octane energy of Ali Wong. They get right all the different emotions and hesitations, making them seem really in a relationship and knowing each other truly well. The depth here is brought out through the subtlety in the emotional graph, which could easily have turned sappy.
Michelle Buteau and James Saitu play a similar supporting character besides each of the lead actors. They are sharp, brazenly funny, know what the leads want and guide them towards that in a manner that often might come across as mildly harsh. Both are terrific, thanks to the beautiful dialogues, and stay with us along with Ali Wong and Randall Park.
Others like Susan Park, Karan Soni, Daniel Dae Kim have brief parts, but they also stand out due to the particularly exciting sequences they are part of as a team. And last but not least, Keanu Reeves playing himself is a hoot. The movie literally pauses, temporarily, due to his sheer star presence.
Music and Other Departments?
The songs are used as background from time to time depending on the situation. They help keep the narrative bustling with energy. The cinematography by Tim Susrstedt is adequately sappy and bright. It goes with the overall mood and tone of the flick and enhances it’s appeal visually. The editing by Lee Haxall is fine. The pace of the movie never drops except towards the end a bit. The writing by Ali Wong, Randall Park, and Michael Golamco is sensational. The Asian-American spirit has been wonderfully presented through their work.
Might Feel Repetitive At Times
Loses Some Momentum Towards The End
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Always Be My Maybe Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti