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ElectricBoogaloo

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

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Reunited after 15 years, famous chef Sasha (Ali Wong) and hometown musician Marcus (Randall Park) feel the old sparks of attraction but struggle to adapt to each other's worlds.

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In select theaters: 5/29/19

Available on Netflix: 5/31/19

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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Childhood sweethearts have a falling out and don't speak for 15 years. They reconnect as adults when Sasha runs into Marcus in San Francisco. Although the old sparks are still there, the couple live in different worlds. Ali Wong, Randall Park, Keanu Reeves.

Keanu for the win. Also loved the "yeah" integrations in Collective Soul's Shine.

Edited by QQQQ
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Thanks for fixing my double forum creation! I swear I looked, but don't know how I missed the fact one had already been created days ago!!! Ugh...

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The characters are hella real. Just fantastic stuff. They're not just characters who happen to be Asian American, they're not just characters who happen to come from the Bay Area. The movie feels suffused with an authentic and specific Bay Area & Asian American identity. The baggage the characters have feels real. The jokes about high end cuisine are funny because they're based on an extrapolation of some real culinary trends.

BTW I was prepared for Marcus's band to suck but they were legitimately listenable. It probably could have worked the other way – if he was a talentless schlub –but I think the movie is better this way.

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I loved this movie! I laughed and cried. I loved Marcus and Sasha. I wasnt a fan of how lonnnnnng the Keanu Reeves part was in the middle, but other than that, I thought it was a great film.

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Loved this movie. The Keanu Reeves bit was genius, but agreed it went a bit longer than necessary. I really liked Marcus's songs with his band! Sasha's assistant stole every single scene, she was hilarious.

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If you watch The Interview, he really is that good. Personally, I think Randall is a much better actor than Constance Wu. Fresh Off The Boat doesn't do much justice to his character, but he shines here. 

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1 hour ago, Robert Lynch said:

If you watch The Interview, he really is that good. Personally, I think Randall is a much better actor than Constance Wu. Fresh Off The Boat doesn't do much justice to his character, but he shines here. 

He was great as Danny Chung in Veep, too.

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On 6/1/2019 at 1:01 PM, arc said:

The characters are hella real. Just fantastic stuff. They're not just characters who happen to be Asian American, they're not just characters who happen to come from the Bay Area. The movie feels suffused with an authentic and specific Bay Area & Asian American identity. The baggage the characters have feels real. The jokes about high end cuisine are funny because they're based on an extrapolation of some real culinary trends.

BTW I was prepared for Marcus's band to suck but they were legitimately listenable. It probably could have worked the other way – if he was a talentless schlub –but I think the movie is better this way.

ITA with all of this. Not only did they feel like fully realized characters (as opposed to sketches of people or mere caricatures), but they got so many of the little details just right. This is EXACTLY why diversity and representation in movies/tv/pop culture matter. They got the details right because the writers knew exactly what they were writing about. There's nothing worse than being distracted by tiny (or huge) errors when you're trying to enjoy watching something.

I loved the way they mocked all of the ridiculously pretentious high end food trends. I'm all for innovation and creativity but there's a point where it just gets silly.

I really liked the relationship between Marcus and his dad. It was obvious that they loved each other and were both kind of lost without Judy, and each was trying his best to do what he thought was best for the other one (Marcus staying at home and going into the family business so his dad wouldn't be alone, his dad never pushing him to leave because he thought Marcus needed time to get over the devastation of losing his mom).

I, too, thought that the band was going to SUCK to drive home the "Marcus is a loser who never left his hometown" point, but I liked that they were good and that he was content playing at the same dive bar every week. People like Sasha who are very goal oriented always want to take things to the next level, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to stay a local band. Not everyone wants to become mega famous and do international stadium tours.

Part of me wishes that they had made this a limited edition series so that we could have seen more of the kids' friendship (instead of just fast forwarding with pictures) and then given Marcus and Sasha more time to reconnect before she met Keanu.

Two romantic comedy movies with Asian actors in BOTH the lead roles in less than a year gives me a little bit of hope that maybe we are going to see more sustained diversity and representation (not just rarities like The Joy Luck Club and All American Girl).

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31 minutes ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

There's nothing worse than being distracted by tiny (or huge) errors when you're trying to enjoy watching something.

Well, I was distracted by the parts that were obviously shot in Vancouver. Because I've lived a bit in SF and I'm from Vancouver and I know both those places. But that's just the reality of making movies in 2019 and at least Vancouver's Chinatown was doubling for the Richmond district of SF rather than SF's Chinatown -- it's a better visual match for the former.

And one little thing that didn't even bother me while watching is that at Maximal, Sasha would arguably have been as much of a VIP as Keanu, or close. She's a celebrity chef eating at another high end restaurant, they're gonna try to wow her.

One of my favorite little details, btw, was how the cooks responded "yes chef" to everything. "Never give anybody your heart, Enrique." "…thank you, chef".

I do wish Marcus had apologized for the stuff he said in the Burger King. That was very harsh stuff and I got over it by headcanoning he apologized at some point offscreen.

Edited by arc
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I loved all the little shoutouts regarding Asian culture such as those girls running outside during the birthday party, taking their shoes off and carrying them to the backyard when they put them on again. I’ve done that my whole life, and now make my kids do it. I remember reading an article recently on how gross the bottom of shoes are and how unsanitary it is to wear them in the house and thought about every Asian person nodding their head with validation. 

Same with cutting vegetables with scissors, hating to tip valets and paying full price for a meal. Hoping that success with this movie and CRA there are other future movies with Asians as the leads on the horizon.

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As someone who lives in SF for the last gazillion years working in both the music and restaurants I actually found the SF element in 2019 and to be super unrealistic. Her flying in and living large in a place in the fake Oakland hills while spending two months to open a mega restaurant in SF is ridiculous as is 40 year old bands having decent sized crowd in dive bars in the city, so many have closed, I could see it in Oakland perhaps but not in the city. I also found it weird that they turned the exterior of the Jewish museum into an out of touch hugely expensive restaurant.

Bay Area bullshit aside I just didnt buy the rekindling of their relationship or basically any relationship development in the movie. I found it all underdeveloped. I also thought the pacing was either crazy slow or way too fast.  

I thought the casting was also off Karan Soni is 15 years younger than Randall and 7 younger than Ali and looks it. And I adore Michelle Buteau’s standup but I thought her acting was painfully bad!

Edited by biakbiak
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I loved this movie! OMG, it was so cute and adorable. It's going on my "I need something to watch and I don't want to invest in something new so I'll watch this cute movie" rotation. 

Randall Park is a gem and I loved Ali Wong (haven't seen her in much else). 

There were some definite laugh out loud moments and I watched all the way through the end credits just to hear the "I punched Keanu Reeves" song. I've been singing it all weekend. 

I saw an interview with Ali Wong where she said that she wrote this movie so she could make out with Daniel Dae Kim and Keanu Reeves. ❤️ A woman after my own heart. 

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17 minutes ago, Glory said:

I loved Ali Wong (haven't seen her in much else). 

You should check out both her stand-up specials on Netflix. She also provides the voice for one of the title characters of Tuca and Bertie (she plays Bertie; Tiffany Haddish is Tuca), which is my current Netflix obsession. And of course wrote for Fresh Off the Boat (which I admit I don't watch. Not for any negative reason; there's just a LOT of content out there!).

8 hours ago, biakbiak said:

And I adore Michelle Buteau’s standup but I thought her acting was painfully bad!

Yeah, I didn't think much of her acting either but I like her comedy, so I was at least glad to see her in something that will give her more of an audience. It was also weird for me that she wasn't cursing that much in this movie - her comedy is very blue.

I didn't know Keanu Reeves was playing himself! That was really fun. I am not really a rom-com person, but I thought this was a really sweet movie.

12 hours ago, twoods said:

I loved all the little shoutouts regarding Asian culture such as those girls running outside during the birthday party, taking their shoes off and carrying them to the backyard when they put them on again.

An article I read praising those little touches cited this one specifically.

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Keanu Reeves as...Keanu Reeves! That bit did go on a bit long, but when you have Keanu Reeves, you USE your Keanu Reeves! That was hilarious, I loved every minute of it.

I thought this was a really fun movie, everyone in it was super charming and the writing was sweet and funny. I liked all of the characters, even when they were being assholes, because I understood why. Especially with Marcus, who was often frustrating, but was clearly stuck in the moment his mother died driving the same car, working with his dad, not pushing his band very far, and his father never said anything because he didnt want to push him and that he needed his dad. I thought their relationship felt really real. I liked that their band actually didnt suck, and while I dont know if they would ever make it huge, I think they could do pretty well in the indy scene and the summer concert circuit, and if thats what they wanted, they could do alright. 

Like many others, its just really cool to see a movie with an almost entirely Asian cast that is both about universal subjects like love, family, and grief, as well as romcom shenanigans, and also about specifically Asian American things, especially when it comes to family and food. The fact that the leads are Asian is still a part of the story, its not a story where they never mention their race or cultures, and its a part of their lives and personalities, but is just one aspect of them and does not define them entirely or rely on stereotyping. 

The jokes about the high class food reminded me of a night last summer when I took my parents to this super fancy restaurant in Washington DC, the kind of place that grows it food in front of you and makes new cocktails every night and the portions are super small, and my dad, while very polite and up to try things, just did not get it. He didnt get why he was paying so much for such small portions, or why the place had all these fancy drinks and craft beers and not just a can of Heineken for him to drink, and just wanted to go to some local take out place the next night. So I just kept thinking of that whenever Marcus was complaining about being hungry!  

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I forgot about the best line in the movie. When Marcus shows up to the party for Sasha's nephew he brings a gift. 

"What'd you bring?"

"Legos." 

"What kind?"

"... Red." 

I don't know why - but that little throw-away had me rolling. 

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Was disappointed in this.  I love romantic comedies and like all the actors involved.  Did not think they really showed that young  Sasha had a crush on Marcus.  That part rang false to me when she said it in the game.  Marcus seemed to always love her.   That did have major issues that were not really dealt with.  He came across as a underachiever and her an overachiever.  He didn’t like her world and seemed to look down on her being a celeb chef. She didn’t seem to like his world either   

Marcus was always pretty selfish with his band.   That audition was really embarrassing.  They were together for a long time so I guess all was forgiven.  

I cant ever say there I too much Keanu. 

Also I totally did not get the joke about parents paying full price so thank this thread for explaining.  

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I've had "I Punched Keanu Reeves" stuck in my head since watching this yesterday. I loved Keanu playing himself. He seemed to be enjoying himself in the role and I just want Keanu to be happy. 

Overall I enjoyed it and now I want to see more Ali Wong.

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I liked this but some of the jokes fell a little flat. The highlight for me was Harry Kim. I loved him. Especially the scene when he walks into Marcus's room and does a little dance. I also loved that they named the restaurant after the mom.

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It was okay, very cute, but I'm not big on romantic comedies anymore. I love Keanu, but his part also stretched on a bit too long. I do like that he was declared to be a douche, LOL, since he seems to be the complete opposite (and was willing to look like one). 

My favourite part was her naming it after the mother who was there for her, and taught her how to cook - also including the food she taught her to make. 

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One thing I loved was that Daniel Dae Kim's character wasn't cartoonishly evil. Just a very different perception of relationships than Sasha. Or perhaps that's only my impression because Daniel Dae Kim is so gosh darn adorable and relaxing. Maybe he was supposed to be incredibly intolerable.

In your run-of-the-mill comedy he would have been just the worst, but I found in this movie that it was Sasha realizing her feelings for Marcus that had her move on from him, not that she was escaping a terrible situation.

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Finally watched it and it was cute! Not much I can say that hasn't already been said: Randall and Ali were great and Keanu was hilarious! I also loved Marcus' relationship with his dad.

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I'll bring my thoughts from the Romantic Comedy thread because I loved this movie.  It's honestly my favourite movie of 2019 so far, ("Us" was second.  I've seen eleven 2019 releases total so far.)

Me:

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I saw "Always Be My Maybe" and I loved it.  I really felt like the movie was made specifically for me.  I have no complaints.  The best part was the soundtrack.  Ali/Randall and I must like all the same music.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay

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There is no earthly way for me to type under that quote box now, so I have to add another post.  One of the greatest things about this movie is the three Asian male love interests. (I know Keanu is only part Asian.)  That's very revolutionary for America, and would be even more so if Crazy Rich Asians didn't come out last year.  Think of movies even like "To All the Boys I've Loved Before" which didn't have 1 Asian man, or Mindy Kaling's show which ran for 5 (?) seasons and never had an Asian male love interest.  (I think Randall Park appeared on the show, but no idea if he was a love interest because I stopped watching the show out of anger.)

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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Yeah, that was a deliberate choice by Ali Wong:

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“It was really important to me that all of [Sasha’s] love interests were Asian-American,” Wong, 37, told PEOPLE. “And we wanted to find a sexy Asian-American man who would be Marcus’ worst nightmare if he decided to confess his feelings. In everything I do it’s very important to show my attraction and desire towards Asian-American men.”

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Well of course.  There's no way Netflix or whoever would be like "We want 3 Asian males as leads."  It's clear Ali insisted on it and I admire her a lot.

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I really enjoyed this. I liked the diversity of the cast, and was unspoiled for Keanu's appearance, so that one floored me. His scenes had me laughing out loud.

In terms of being a romantic comedy, I liked the comedic aspect of the movie more than the romantic parts. I liked Sasha, and I kinda liked Marcus. They certainly had great friendship chemistry. But I'm not convinced they're good together as a romantic pairing. 

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On 6/2/2019 at 11:55 PM, biakbiak said:

As someone who lives in SF for the last gazillion years working in both the music and restaurants I actually found the SF element in 2019 and to be super unrealistic. Her flying in and living large in a place in the fake Oakland hills while spending two months to open a mega restaurant in SF is ridiculous as is 40 year old bands having decent sized crowd in dive bars in the city, so many have closed, I could see it in Oakland perhaps but not in the city. I also found it weird that they turned the exterior of the Jewish museum into an out of touch hugely expensive restaurant.

I enjoyed this but I side-eyed the aspect of Randall Park just up and moving into his own apartment. Heating and air can't pay THAT much that someone could get their own apartment unless he's way, way out in the burbs. I also kept trying to calculate what his parent's house was worth because assuming they own it, the dad has to paying out the ass on property taxes.

Maybe he meant he got a room in someone's duplex or something. LOL.

I did read somewhere that Oakland has kind of gotten a way of artists and musicians that were priced out of San Francisco.

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4 hours ago, methodwriter85 said:

Maybe he meant he got a room in someone's duplex or something. LOL.

I read an article about how SF restaurateurs were having a hard time finding kitchen staff because it doesn't pay well enough to live on within reasonable commuting distance of the city, and who wants to commute two hours to work in a kitchen if there are restaurants where you actually live? One couple said they had a housing budget of $2K a month and the only things they could find with that were horrible studios or rooms in someone else's house. They ended up leaving SF altogether and moving to Boston - which is also expensive, but you could at least have a one-bedroom to yourself for that price!

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I did read somewhere that Oakland has kind of gotten a way of artists and musicians that were priced out of San Francisco.

Even Oakland is expensive. It's like Brooklyn in NYC.

It's pretty bonkers that the notion of a gainfully employed tradesman having his own apartment is unrealistic (this is a knock at gentrification, not at the comment).

Edited by Empress1
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11 hours ago, methodwriter85 said:

I also kept trying to calculate what his parent's house was worth because assuming they own it, the dad has to paying out the ass on property taxes.

Part of what makes SF so unaffordable is Prop 13’s effects on unaffordability. Homeowners have no tax pressure from increased home values to support higher density, because property tax rates are locked at the assessed value when first acquired. So Harry Kim is doing fine, assuming he owns.

(if he’s renting, and it’s a multi-unit house (built before 1978) — even just an in-law suite counts — then he’s somewhat protected by rent control. But that wouldn’t help Marcus as a new renter in 2019.)

Edited by arc
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To give you an idea of how ridiculous housing in SF is: 

$1200/month for a bunk bed in the Tenderloin

I fanwanked Marcus moving out as somewhat plausible because he’s been living rent free at home for his entire adult life so even if his dad wasn’t paying him a lot to work in the family business, he hasn’t been spending $1000/month on rent for over a decade. 

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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This was really enjoyable.  I liked the leads, and now having seen Ali Wong, I look forward to seeing more of her work.

Hilarious of Keanu to lampoon himself.  You know he hooked up with Marcus' ex back at his apartment.

However, the last 30 minutes were pretty rushed and trope-y.  Especially the public declaration of love.  Can we please do away with that, or at least try a new spin on it?

On 6/5/2019 at 2:17 PM, tribeca said:

He didn’t like her world and seemed to look down on her being a celeb chef. She didn’t seem to like his world either   

I thought the same thing, tbh.  Their argument wasn't just anger, their worlds were really different and relationships can't always survive that.  But the fact that Sasha named her restaurant after Marcus' mother and based so much of it off of her memory was a big deal.

Edited by Amethyst · Reason: too many letters
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16 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I fanwanked Marcus moving out as somewhat plausible because he’s been living rent free at home for his entire adult life so even if his dad wasn’t paying him a lot to work in the family business, he hasn’t been spending $1000/month on rent for over a decade. 

Also Marcus did not go to college so he is probably debt free. He is frugal by nature. He still owns the same car he's had for a dozen years. His main discretionary expenses seem to be pot, eating out at (cheaper) Asian places, and his music. He's probably saved a lot of money.   

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I enjoyed it. The ending was rushed and tropey, but her dedication of her new restaurant to his Mom was very moving. I wish they explored her relationship with her parents more, as well as how she and Marcus could make it work. I do give it major points for representation AND that Sasha didn’t have to change who she was or let go of her dreams to be with Marcus. 

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On 6/1/2019 at 6:44 PM, biakbiak said:

I found this just okay. I wanted to like this much more than I did.

Exactly how I felt too.

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While this movie wasn't perfect and it was a typical predicable Rom Com. I still enjoyed it. Mostly for the fact that it was a mostly Asian cast. All races can deal with similar issues, not everybody has to be white to show that. The fact that this movie had all 3 love interests be Asian was great. As a mixed race Asian I appreciated that they remembered Keanu Reeves is part Asian. Just because we are not full Asian doesn't make us less Asian. I grew up with more of my Japanese side's culture and food so that's how I identify myself. 

I also liked that they didn't go with they stereotypical tiger parents for Sasha and Marcus' parents. There are Asian parents that are regular parents. 

I do agree the Keanu part went on a little too long. I liked seeing him play a dick version of himself and Jenny most definitely hooked up with him after Marcus and Sasha left. 

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Finally got a day to watch this and I thought it was really cute. I don't know Ali Wong but I'm a fan now. I liked when she said she had to go into a different room to fart. Lol. 

I think I liked the dad the best. I could understand Marcus, I never could leave my dad either. 

The Keanu part was awesome. Loved the song at the end, that'll be in my head for days.

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Surprisingly, I liked this film. I expected to be cliche, sappy love story but it turned out to be so much more. There was a genuine chemistry between the leads which is rare to find in romantic flicks these days. 

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I liked this movie even if I have issues. I found Marcus too much of a douche. And I felt Sasha was unfair to her parents. Her parents are immigrants who had to run a business. Given that Sasha runs a business, she would have developed a more nuanced perspective over time. Besides, she would not have been alone at home. She would have gone to the business after school and help out.

All the parents were great, and loved Victoria.

Edited by memememe76
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(Did I not mention this earlier?) I love that Marcus wrote "Tennis Ball" only because Quasar had already saddled the band with tennis ball merch.

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