“Always Be My Maybe”

LOUISA:  3 STARS


LOUISA SAYS:

It’s a bright new renaissance in the romantic comedy genre, thanks in part to Netflix and their brand of original lovey-dovey films like “Always Be My Maybe.” The streaming titan looks poised to continue supporting and churning out goofy, adorable little gems like this: delightful, easy-to-like, crowd-pleasing movies that are perfectly fine to watch on a Saturday night on the couch.

The classic premise isn’t given much of a modern twist, sticking to the tried and true rom-com formula. Childhood sweethearts Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park) let an awkward teenage encounter drive them apart. Fifteen years pass and the best buddies completely lose touch as they navigate their way through college and careers. Sasha is now a celebrity chef who finds herself back in San Francisco to open her latest restaurant, while Marcus plays in a band, still lives at home, and works for his dad (James Saito). A chance re-connection ignites the sparks once again, as the two rediscover what they love so much about each other.

It’s a corny story, but it’s quite funny. The story is told from an Asian-American perspective, and Park and Wong have a palpable onscreen chemistry. The characters are relatable, even if Wong sometimes comes across as harsh and unpleasant. A hilarious cameo from Keanu Reeves, playing a hyper-masculine, uber-trendy version of himself, is the icing on the cake.

There’s just a hint of smart social commentary thrown in, but the real reason to watch this one is the sweet romance that provides the heart of the story. It’s predictable, but it’s also altogether satisfying.

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