Hollywood scored one with its first exclusive Asian romantic drama Crazy Rich Asians, and it was a matter of time before Netflix cashed in on the hype with one of the most streamed movies on the site, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. Now Netflix is out with a ‘politically correct’ rom-com Always Be My Maybe, and let’s say it’s better than their last shot at the genre. Always Be My Maybe is about two best-friends who rekindle their teenage romance after years of living in the perils of adulthood.
Always Be My Maybe plays on all the cliches of romance, now set by Netflix, without becoming a cliche itself. It’s like a modern take on the never thought of the idea of love where both the partners are given a level of equality, and there’s no ‘fighting for affection scenario’ (without an unrealistic airport security sequence FYI). Commendable, is the portrayal of the Asian-American community in the film, mainly because Ali Wong is a not so conventional ‘damsel-in-desperate-distress.’
The Netflix film never forgets that it’s a comedy, which is often the problem with a ‘rom-com’ and it packs a punch of laughter every once in a while. There’s a lot of uncomfortable-ness in the story, but the kind that is required to make a romantic-comedy on today’s stage. There’s an ease in the characters, who don’t really discover themselves in their romance but instead discover romance in themselves.
Always Be My Maybe is a breath of fresh air that rom-com fans have gotten bored and cynical while waiting for in this Netflix age. It’s light, enjoyable and googly-eyed and while it is FAR from perfect, it’s a story that none of us knows, relates to or has ever been in, in real life which makes it worth a snuggled up afternoon this brutal summer. This one from Netflix deserves a watch for Wong and her watchful weakness in a cliched love story.