Always Be My Maybe

First Hit: This film had wonderfully funny moments and pointed scenes about discovering love right next door.

Childhood friends and neighbors Sasha Tran (Ali Wong) and Marcus Kim (Randall Park) spent all their spare time together growing up. Sasha’s parents were rarely home as they were tending to the family store, so Sasha spent time at Marcus’ house. Marcus’ mother cooked a lot and taught Sasha how to cook great original Asian recipes.

After the sudden accidental loss of his mother, Marcus and Sasha were in his car and in processing his grief, he attempts to kiss Sasha. At first, it was awkward, but she eventually responds, and after a funny make-out session they end up having car sex, and anyone who has had car sex knows how passion filled, intimate, and ridiculous it can be.

However, those two events build a wall between them, and they grow apart. Marcus gives up his plans for a future as a musician to take care of his father Harry (James Saito) who is a heating and air-conditioning specialist.

Marcus starts dating Jenny (Vivian Bang) a dreadlocked Asian woman while working with his dad. Although he continues to play in his band, they’ve not tried to expand their music into new venues. Marcus’ world has become small while supporting his dad. 

Sasha, on the other hand, has become a well-known celebrity chef who is used to walking red carpets and opens restaurants around the country. She’s engaged to her manager Brandon Choi (Daniel Dae Kim). Although at first, Brandon wants to marry Sasha, he changes his mind and heads off to open another restaurant overseas and tells Sasha they are on a break. Meanwhile, after opening a restaurant in LA, Sasha heads home to San Francisco to open another previously planned restaurant.

At a chance, or not so chance, meeting set up by Sasha’s assistant Veronica (Michelle Buteau), Sasha and Marcus reunite. One evening Sasha has a meeting and date with Keanu Reeves which, in her mind, was unbelievably fantastic.

Double dating with Jenny and Marcus, Sasha and Keanu meet for dinner at an exclusive and expensive restaurant where Keanu, arrives fashionably late, greets tables of well-wishers and admirers before sitting down. The food is pretentious and so is Keanu when he picks up the bill for 6,400 dollars, and we learn, that for Reeves, it is merely a residual check amount for the film Speed.

They head to Keanu’s hotel room to play a game and it ends up Marcus punches Keanu after Reeves rudeness hits a high point. Sasha and Marcus leave, star-struck Jenny stays.

This reuniting of Marcus and Sasha grows until she presses him to go to New York with her to open another restaurant. Marcus passes until his dad straightens him out about his life.

The film was well paced and not once, did it lag. The comedic moments were sprinkled throughout the movie, and these specific moments were not sight gags, but natural human moments to which the audience can relate.

Wong was excellent as Sasha. She was both sparklingly funny and sensitive. Loved that her character wasn’t going to sacrifice her love of her work. Kim was terrific as Marcus. Although, I didn’t think the transition from interesting young man to a basic recluse after his mother’s death was well understood or presented. However, his song about punching Keanu was delightful and a highlight. Saito as Marcus’ dad was outstanding. As the film went on, his wisdom grew, as did his presence in the movie. Buteau, as Sasha’s assistant, was lightheartedly enjoyable. Her role really worked at moving the story and film along. Reeves, as himself, was funny as all get out. He did all the things we might expect a self-important star might unabashedly do. Michael Golamco and Randall Park wrote a well-blended script of comedy and romance. Nahnatchka Khan did a great job of keeping this film focused, funny and poignant.

Overall: This film was fun, lighthearted and very entertaining.