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Always Be My Maybe Is Simply Irresistible

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Always  Be My Maybe(NETFLIX)

Starring Ali Wong,  Randall Park , Keanu Reeves

Directed by Nahnatchka Khan

Rating: *** ½(3 and a half stars)

When  was  the last time I  had so much fun watching a romcom?  Can’t remember. But the sheer joy of flowing with this breezy  fluid  mellow-drama about  childhood  friends  growing up into belligerent reluctant  lovers, was  an experience worth going through.

Some  critics  have  commented on  the  light tone  of  the  film. But light isn’t flippant.  Simply because the film doesn’t address  gay issues  or  a nuclear  leakage doesn’t mean it can make  no claims to being  something serious. And when I say ‘serious’ I don’t mean a glum  countenance  gotten into the  film just to  look  committed to something more  than frothy entertainment.

Always Be My Maybe is proudly nakedly persistently  forthy and entertaining. It  tells the story  of  Sasha(Ali Wong) and Marcus(Randall Park) who are neighbours since  childhood. Their  kinship is  undeniable from the word go. And that they would finally come together  is  not a spoiler. It’s  a no brainer. The pleasure  here  lies not  in  the destination but the journey as the couple goes from being mean  to one another to meaning something special to one another.

Writers  Ali Wong,Randall Park, Michael Golamco expend their  mixed energy  in  creating a  brew  that  is at once  bracing and  enjoyable. The one-liners and  situational jokes flow fast and  furiously but never eclipse the  compulsive charm of  the  young lead pair as they  gambol from one well-written scene  to the  next .It’s almost like trading one beautifully  fitted  outfit for another before the  design  or the tailoring starts  to pinch.

A  lot  of  the  humour is centred  on food.And the  film’s  piece de resistance  is  a restaurant  sequence where KeanuReeves appears  as  Sasha’s temporary  love-interest. The entire sequence with  Sasha and Keanu on one end  and  Marcus  and  his  zany weird-haired  girlfriend on  the  other, is so so so  intelligent witty and  entertaining  it could have made  for a movie on its own.

For a film that aims to take entertaining  potshots at romantic conventions Always  Be  My Maybe is surprisingly smart and sassy.Besides  the main characters who are  irresistibly flawed and  not afraid to show it,  you will love  some of  the  marginal characters like Marcus’s  coolest  Dad  (James Saito), Marcus’s  goofiest  girlfriend (Vivian Bang) and his quirky best friend  Tony(Karan Soni).

Curiously  this  is a  film about the South Asian community in America  but  hardly draws  attention to the  cultural background  of  the  characters.The one stereotyping device that irked me in this  film  is  the portrayal of  the  rich as mean and  the  workingclass as angels.

If  only life were that simple. That’s where  the movies come in.

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