Beth's Blockbuster Blog - Always Be My Maybe
Netflix releases so many new movies, you blink and you'll probably miss them. But occasionally they try to do a big promotional campaign to prep for the ones featuring big stars or that will attract a large audience, like the rom-com To All the Boys I Loved Before or the interactive Black Mirror: Bandersnatch. So of course when one of Netflix's biggest comedy stars, Ali Wong teams up with Randall Park and Fresh Off the Boat creator Nahnatchka Khan, Netflix is going to scream to the heavens about this new movie. And Always Be My Maybe deserves most of the attention it's getting.
Ali Wong is easily rising to the ranks of today's top comedians, and it's no surprise why. Unlike some comedians who tell "real" stories that feel calculated and insincere, Wong feel genuine in her comedy and she brings the same energy to the roll of Sasha Tran. She feels like a woman who puts her past behind her to grow and become the woman she wanted to be, while also failing to realize the importance of Marcus' friendship in her life.
On the other hand, as strong as Randall Park's performance is in the last third of the film, the character is so one dimensional until he has his growth moment. Not even Park's charisma can make Marcus interesting. There's definitely a show of effort from Park to try and make Marcus interesting and stand on his own next to Sasha, but unfortunately, his character is written like every male character that gets stuck in the friend zone while trying to dig himself out of it.
It's not surprise with the amount of revenue that Netflix brings in that they can make such stylish films, but this film in particular deserves a shout out for their set designs. Barbara Munch knows how to work with upscale, city-based establishments and turn them into something that feels like a dream, as she's worked on films like Magic Mike XXL, Milk and Rent. Her designs for Sasha Tran's fake restaurants are absolutely astonishing, showcasing her idea of luxury dining by a younger but experienced chef.
For those looking for a decent rom-com, this is definitely the film for you. It's a good comfort movie: You know it's going to hit the points to be a cliche rom-com with its own twist on those points, but you go into it knowing that. It's satisfying for people who are looking for Ali Wong's next project, but those looking for something different from Randall Park should keep looking. And of course Keanu Reeves is great, but that's expected at this point. So take your Burger King to go so you can cry in your car and happy watching!