By Julia Duggan
“Always Be My Maybe” is a heartwarming film full of romantic drama focusing on the long and complex relationship between Marcus (Randall Park) and Sasha (Ali Wong). The plot, like all rom-coms, gives hope for our fantasy relationships and suggests the past may not be as bad as we remember it. The movie follows two high school best friends-turned-sweethearts who finally reunite after 15 years apart.
It’s a good movie to watch after a long day of classes — the film begins by showing two close friends’ journeys through life, beginning with elementary school. Sasha and Marcus live next door to each other and are inseparable. Right before the two graduate high school, some romantic sparks ignite.
I must admit, the setup to this movie is impressive. The scenery was able to effectively float between the glamour of world fame and living at home with a parent. The house that Sasha is renting is fresh, modern and sleek while Marcus’ room is in his parent’s house, decorated with memories of high school.
Another interesting aspect of the movie is its featuring of Asian American culture. Most romantic movies don’t have a culturally diverse cast or present cultures that have been overlooked in history. When the movie shows Sasha as a child, the viewers get to see her with Marcus’ mom learning how to make true Asian American meals. This plays a major part during one of the fights when Marcus calls out Sasha, now a world-renowned chef, and says that she is “catering to rich white people.”
All the restaurants that Sasha has worked with before can only be described as serving bite-sized meals that are ridiculously overpriced. The last restaurant that the viewers get to see Sasha open is in New York and honors Marcus’ mother. It features all of her homemade recipes and also symbolizes that Sasha has come to terms with her past.
This movie has a lot of drama. There are one-night stands, celebrity boyfriends, and conflicts with adapting to different lives. Their relationship may not always be perfect, but the recurring theme through all of it is that Sasha and Marcus always go back to each other — hence the name of the movie.
It was a surprise to see Ali Wong star in this movie. Normally one can find her on stage performing comedy. She has previously created several Netflix comedy specials that cover a wide range of topics. In 2019 she released a book that contains letters she has written to her daughters. It gives advice on dating, embracing her culture and how to thrive in a male-dominated work environment.
Wong actually co-wrote this movie and gives her character a vibrant personality. She thrives in this role, adding bits of comedy; and viewers can’t help but become emotionally connected to Sasha in the film. Whether it’s cheering her on with her success or screaming at her to just kiss Marcus, you can’t help but get invested. Wong clearly carries her role and dominates throughout the movie.