Netflix’s Always Be My Maybe is like so many other romantic comedies Hollywood has been making for at least two decades. It is still mostly fun to watch largely because of its charismatic leads and the fact that it is often genuinely funny.
Now, I am not too big on romantic comedies as a rule, but I do enjoy well-made and acted films from the genre like, say, Notting Hill. Always Be My Maybe is pretty formulaic, but is elevated (one of the lead characters in the film would hate the term) by its cast and dialogue.
Headlined by comedians and actors Ali Wong and Randall Park and directed by TV writer-producer Nahnatchka Khan, Always Be My Maybe is about two young people who grew up together and were lovers as teenagers but now find themselves in loveless relationships.
Ali Wong’s Sasha Tran (Wong) is a celebrity chef who is dating an eminent restaurateur Brandon Choi (Lost’s Daniel Dae Kim in a special appearance). Her childhood friend Marcus Kim (Park), meanwhile, is a talented musician and a part of a band but has low ambitions.
They meet and initially it is awkward but they bond again — like the old times. As you can probably tell, this could be the basic plot of so many rom-coms. Only a little padding here and there makes this one any different.
But again, because of the lead and supporting actors — Karan Soni in yet another sidekick role, Michelle Buteau, and a Hollywood star in a fictionalised version of himself and so on — and witty, flowing dialogue, this movie has a real charm and is entertaining for the most part.
It does, however, feel a bit long. Especially towards the end, Always Be My Maybe just seems to plod on and on. One gets the feeling that the story ended a while ago, but it takes its time. Always Be My Maybe is still a pleasant enough experience, particularly if you are a fan of the genre.
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