Asian-Americans Representation in Hollywood Movies
Just finished watching #AlwaysBeMyMaybe and here’s my review of it (may contain spoiler alerts). I don’t really do movie reviews, so y’all know this is a special one that’s deserving!
First off, the title alone piqued my interest; I think the writers paid homage to THAT Mariah Carey’s song (which was played as well). Then, the intro song — 93 ’til Infinity was lit! It had me whipping out my Shazam app right away. Sung by Souls of Mischief, I think it captures the soul and nostalgia of the 90s and so relatable to anyone, especially those of us born in the 80s. The setting was, largely, in San Francisco, which I think is very symbolic, given how California, as a whole, has a large community of Asian-Americans.
The main act — Randall Park from Fresh Off the Boat — aced his role as Marcus Kim. It was nice to see a chilled, laid-back Asian American man on the big screen and not the usual stereotype we have been used to. Another example was how the Asian parents were not portrayed as the anal-retentive, tiger parents, and ultra-conservative kind.
Ali Wong was also amazing! Her pre-makeover look and stance gave me some Ugly Betty vibes. It was my first time seeing her in a movie, having only watched her stand-up Netflix comedy shows. Having these two people headline the film was a very good move. I am also more in awe that both co-wrote and directed the movie. The last time I felt this good about such representation of Asian-Americans was after watching #CrazyRichAsians. To this, I say, let’s have more of these kinds of movies!
The storyline itself was sweet, although it started out really slow at first. Just when I thought things couldn’t get better or any slower, Keanu Reeves made an appearance (much longer than a cameo to be punched in the face and rapped about). I was squealing like those BTS ARMY fans, trying to convince my brain that this wasn’t a dream, haha. I certainly did not expect to see Keanu in there, especially since his name didn’t even appear on the listing of the main actors. And how did they manage to get him onboard? Didn’t he just kill some people the other day for murdering his dog? Haha. Regardless of his role in this movie, he can do no wrong by me, so let’s keep it moving. His role was hilarious, and you will have to try so hard not to like his character. The supporting role Vivian Bang played as Jenny is also noteworthy of mention/
There were so many cultural references in this movie, and it really satisfied my soul. That said, some aspects of this movie made me feel like I was watching one of those cheesy rom-com K-dramas, especially with the push-and-pull tropes that have been used over and over, ad nauseam. These plots need to die swiftly; they are so unoriginal.
The piece de resistance was the original closing song about punching #KeanuReeves — I thought Randall delivered the notes and punched sharply (all pun intended). And boy, I did not know he could rap that well! What a surprise!
People, go watch this movie. It’s a cute, hilarious, and well-written love story and also a testament that the success from ample and robust Asian-Americans representation in Hollywood isn’t short-lived nor behind us. That such success can be well replicated and movies like ABMM showed just that!
PS: Seeing how messy Netflix movie arrangements and ratings can be, hence making us miss out on good movies unless we are informed by our friends and loved one, I decided to write this review so y’all can be in the know.
You are all welcome :-P