While watching “Always Be My Maybe,” I was reminded of 2018’s “Ideal Home,” co-starring Paul Rudd and Steve Coogan as a bickering couple. The two share a number of similarities, starting with strange framing decisions by their respective directors (here, it’s Nahnatchka Khan) that distract from the narrative, shaky screenplays that mean well but need more work, and two leads who share so much chemistry that you wish the movie had been kept in the oven a little longer. Ali Wong and Randall Park (who both co-wrote the screenplay along with Michael Golamco) carry the viewer through some of the more clunky moments, and their respective megawatt charisma is enough to win over anybody, even folks like myself who don’t care much for romantic comedies. This is Wong’s first leading vehicle and she acclimatizes herself well to the demands of the genre, and Park slides into leading man material with ease and comfort, propelled by a wide smile and an open face that make the audience trust his instincts as a performer. So while there are some significant drawbacks from a filmmaking point of view, there’s so much to enjoy about the rapport between Wong and Park that it makes the experience completely worth it.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)