Starring: Randall Park, Ali Wong, Keanu Reeves
Director: Nahnatchka Khan
Running Time: 101 mins
Always Be My Maybe is an American film about two childhood best friends who, 16 years after losing contact with one another, rekindle their friendship despite their now-differing lifestyles.
On the face of things, Always Be My Maybe isn’t too dissimilar from the majority of romantic comedies, but over the course of 101 thoroughly delightful minutes, the film proves an immensely endearing watch, with two excellent lead performances, good humour throughout, and real, engaging character depth that’s so often missing in this genre.
And that’s where we’ll start off, because although I can’t give this film great credit for any groundbreaking takes on the romantic comedy, it puts great effort into giving the film as much genuine depth as possible, something it pulls off brilliantly with the two main characters.
Again, the will-they-won’t-they dynamic between leads Sasha and Marcus is nothing game-changing, but rather than relying on generic and predictable cute awkwardness between the two, the film goes far deeper into a really insightful and engaging analysis of the pair’s relationship, and how it never seems to work out despite their lifelong chemistry.
Lesser rom-coms would just settle for a story that looks at love coming along at the the right time, or the two personalities just not being ‘right’ for each other, but Always Be My Maybe is a far more intelligent film, looking closely at the lifestyles and values of both Sasha and Marcus, and using that as the starting point for their often topsy-turvy relationship, making for a far more engrossing watch than is generally the case with romantic comedies.
Another big plus for the film comes in the form of its two fantastic lead performances. Not only are Ali Wong and Randall Park great to watch together, but each of them has a real likeability that pervades through every scene, even when their characters are at their lowest, most difficult points.
On top of that, their comedic expertise works wonders in making the film a hugely funny watch. For a story with real dramatic and character depth, I really didn’t expect to be laughing to the extent I found myself, with the film doing an amazing job at balancing its heartwarming emotional drama with properly funny comedy throughout, not to mention a bizarre but side-splitting cameo from Hollywood’s hottest property Keanu Reeves.
Overall, then, Always Be My Maybe has got pretty much all you could ever ask for from a good romantic comedy. It may not be a game-changing film in terms of its core story, but with likable leads, great humour and most importantly real, genuine and heartfelt depth throughout, the film proves a delightful watch, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.6.