It seems over the years romantic comedies and originality are not something that go hand in hand. A genre that, for the bare minimum, should work solely on the chemistry between its lead characters and a script that is witty and enduring enough to distract you from its copy and paste story and cliched tropes. Despite the many disappointments per year surrounding the genre, there is still such high demand, hoping the next ‘When Harry Met Sally’ would grace our screens.
Contrary to what I was expecting, Nahnatchka Khan’s Always Be My Maybe is a surprisingly sweet, competent and well written rom-com. Lead actors Randall Park and Ali Wong work just as well in front of screen as they do behind it, with both being credited as co-writers. By no means is this Netflix original groundbreaking, in fact it still follows many of the cliches you come to expect and even feels more like a TV movie, but it has the charm and provides enough laughs to keep you going to the end.
The peak of the movie’s comedy comes around the half way mark, after a surprising cameo (as long as you stay away from the trailers and most reviews) appears out of the blue to steal the whole show. Possibly the funniest 15 something minutes of 2019 so far, which is something I didn’t expect to say before I pressed play.
What started as some light entertainment to have play out in the background did just enough to hold my attention. The two leads not only have the chemistry that’s needed to pull something like this off, but they are also backed by a strong supporting cast (James Saito, Karan Soni and the aforementioned ‘show stealer’ being the best). If like me, you approach this film with very little expectation, you may find it to be a nice surprise. A film that at its core doesn’t try to reinvent the genre, but exceeds in doing enough to keep it alive.