By Armstrong Simms | Contributor
“The man who embraces his mediocre nothingness shines greater than any,” says Keanu Reeves in the new Netflix comedy, “Always Be My Maybe.”
This is one of the great lines from Reeves’s showstopping, hilarious performance. Keanu Reeves plays none other than… himself. As if any other role would be worthy of his skill. Thankfully this movie isn’t mediocre nothingness. It’s actually quite good (for the most part).
“Always Be My Maybe” follows two heroes—best friends Sasha (Ali Wong) and Marcus (Randall Park)—through their young days, growing up together and becoming best friends. Now, after an awkward parting in high school, they haven’t seen or spoken to each other in sixteen years.
We are then introduced to Marcus’s mom, a great cook and loving mother who also happens to be played by an atrocious actor. My gosh she’s bad. It sucks you right out of the film. Spoiler alert: she dies like 3 minutes into the film. That plot point probably saved the movie, but the problem is they don’t give you any time to get to know or love the mother, so you don’t feel anything when she dies.
The characters are emotional, everybody’s sad. I felt nothing. That’s another problem I had with the beginning of the movie—the emotions jump around too much. I’m supposed to be emotional, nostalgic, then somebody cracks a joke.
Five seconds later: “your mom died.” What am I supposed to be feeling right now?!
The comedy is there for the most part, but it’s a very specific type of comedy. Some jokes missed the mark for me, but I know other people who would’ve found them hilarious. It just depends on what you find funny.
Marcus and Sasha’s relationship is flat. Another spoiler alert: they break up too many times to count. Let’s get together and now break up because you disagreed with something I said. Let’s get back together again, but now you’re being a jerk to me for the first time in your life so let’s break up, but I love you. So, are they together, or aren’t they? Am I supposed to feel something when they break up for the third time? The relationship isn’t nearly developed enough for me to actually feel sad when the breakup happens.
You want to learn how to develop a relationship, then tear it all down? Watch “La La Land.” When the relationship falls off the wheels in “La La Land,” you feel it. You feel it deep down in your core, and it makes you want to rip out your hair.
I didn’t feel much of anything in this film.
Good stories rock you. Good stories allow you to live. Good stories remind you of what it is to be human. Don’t watch this movie if you’re looking for a good story. I can recommend plenty of movies for the viewer who is wanting to experience life and love through story. This is not one of them. This is a super predictable film that you watch with your friends on a weekend when you have nothing else to do. You should watch this if you want to laugh, but don’t want to get too invested. This is a time-killer film.
The strong points of the film are exactly what drew me to it in the first place: it’s funny, fun, and has Keanu Reeves. I laughed out loud many times, and if you’re looking for a quality comedy film to pass the time, “Always Be My Maybe” is your ticket.
My rating: 7/10