Title: Always Be My Maybe
Released: 2019

Fix: Rom-Com, San Francisco/Food Porn, Minimal Presence of White People
Platforms: Netflix

Netflix Summary:

They were childhood sweethearts. Now they live in different worlds. The chemistry’s still there — but will the timing ever be right?

FYA Summary:

Childhood besties Sasha and Marcus were inseparable until a huge falling out drove them apart. Now sixteen years later, Sasha’s back in their hometown of San Francisco — but will their friendship (and maybe more) return too?

Familiar Faces:

Ali Wong as Sasha

A celebrity chef, Sasha is living THE LIFE: great hair, fantastic clothes, constantly being surrounded by hot men — and unapologetically ambitious. But as someone whose parents also worked long hours during my childhood, I found Sasha’s resentment towards hers to be a bit immature. (Like, you’re in your 30s and you don’t understand the difference between deadbeat parents versus ones who were toiling away to provide for you?)

Randall Park as Marcus

The manchild rom-com love interest is one of my least favourite tropes, but credit to Randall Park that Marcus isn’t hopelessly pathetic. And I’m glad that Marcus is never shamed for living at home, because #millennialstruggles and also cultural differences. Although I cannot with the movie insisting that its leads are the same age when I know that to be an extreme falsehood (Randall is 8 years older than Ali).

James Saito as Harry

James Saito is extremely “Hey! It’s That Guy!” for me, in that I know his face but couldn’t name a single other credit of his off the top of my head. (He’s been working steadily for 40+ years, so chances are that you’ll recognize him, too.)

Michelle Buteau as Veronica

I only knew Michelle Buteau from podcasts, but she’s a delight as an actor as well. And she gets to do more than the typical Rom-Com Best Friend role, since her character actually has a life of her own.

Daniel Dae Kim as Brandon

DDK, playing hot douchebags since Gavin Park on Angel! (And maybe even before that, but that was my introduction to him.)

Keanu Reeves as ???

The less you know about Keanu’s cameo, the better. But he’s in this, and it’s absolutely delightful that he agreed to the things his character says and does. KEANU FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN.

Casey Wilson as Chloe

Unsurprisingly, Casey Wilson brings it as the movie’s token white person.

Couch-Sharing Capability: High

OBVS. Good or bad, rom-coms are the ultimate couch-sharing movies!

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Medium

This movie pairs much better with food (there’s so much tasty business!), but there are a few moments of high cringe potential, like whenever Sasha and Marcus trade deep cuts during a fight, or my minor and extremely specific gripe* of movies with San Francisco locals using cable cars.

*WE GET IT; your movie is set in SF! But those fares are too expensive and those lines too long for anybody’s preferred mode of transportation. (Venom is also another recent offender.)

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Good

It took me a few weeks to get around to seeing this, at which point I had already seen plenty of love for it on social media. I’ve been so looking forward to this and I wanted to love it SO MUCH, but it was only… fine. I’d still recommend it if it piques your interest, but it’s not one that I’ll be quoting from or swooning over for days to come. Although I welcome more movies from this era of the diverse and feminist rom-com! (At this point, I’m also starting to wonder if Netflix rom-coms are just Not For Me? I have loved exactly one.)

Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.